GoFundMe for Faithless Electors's Fines/Fees
November 11, 2016 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Would there be any value to a GoFundMe that offered to pay any fees or fines incurred by "faithless electors" who vote against their party line and instead vote for Hillary Clinton?

Even though it may be more of a symbolic gesture than an effort to sway Electoral College members, this fund wouldn't allow them to say they couldn't change their vote because they couldn't afford the fines.

Is there any value on creating a GoFundMe that offered to cover any fines or fees by faithless voters? Any unused funds would be donated to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Southern Poverty Law Center.

Assume I know nothing about GoFundMe. Is this a good idea?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes to Law & Government (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would support it. Worst case scenario, we end up donating to charity. (Well, worst case for the actual GoFundMe. I can't wrap my head around the real life implications of this election)
posted by blackzinfandel at 2:37 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


We are in the World's Darkest Timeline, which, IMHO, means if we do this, it will all be screwed by that elector in Washington who swore to not vote for Clinton.

But I am not above begging, and contacting the electors is totally on my to-do list. (What do we need to do, swing 30 of them? I'd finance the whole thing out of pocket if I thought it would do any good.)
posted by steady-state strawberry at 2:43 PM on November 11, 2016


Someone in one of the election threads said that it's illegal to offer to pay these fines. And the penalties for paying them for someone else are way worse than the penalties the faithless electors themselves incur. So basically, you'd pay a $4000 fine for a faithless elector, and then you'd owe a $200,000 fine and possibly go to jail.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:43 PM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I believe a concern about this sort of thing is that people donating to it could then themselves be charged for interfering? (Tortious Interference, I think?)
I'm not a lawyer so huge grain of salt, but I've seen that raised as an issue before for similar fundraising efforts.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:44 PM on November 11, 2016


The fine isn't the thing stopping faithless electors. The Electors are party faithful and not toeing the line would mean their time was over in that party.
posted by Mitheral at 2:54 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I want to clarify: I am in no way suggesting these funds would be used to PAY an Electoral College member to change their vote. I'm not asking about influencing votes by bribery.

I am also aware that of course these people can afford to pay these fines. I know the threat of a fine isn't what's stopping them.

The idea is this is more symbolic -- to demonstrate to the Electoral College that people are willing to pay any fines they incur by voting against their party. So they can't say, "I would have voted for Clinton but can't afford a financial penalty."

There are groups that offer to pay the legal fees of others; this is along those lines of thinking.

If anyone has information about the legality of this, I would like to know that.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:28 PM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think this would backfire. It would be perceived as an unethical attempt to undo the result of the election by all Trump supporters and many Clinton supporters too. The best time to question the rules of the game is before kick-off. The electoral college is clearly not fit for purpose, having produced 2 minority presidents in 5 elections: this is the time for the 59 million voter majority who didn't get their president to band together and demand electoral reform. It didn't happen after 2000, and if it doesn't happen now the US will continue to be run by candidates who came second.
posted by matthew.alexander at 3:41 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I thought the electoral college votes were secret ballot? How do they know who to fine?
posted by Joe Chip at 3:50 PM on November 11, 2016


1. You don't become an elector by being someone who isn't super excited about voting for your party's candidate.
2. Please explain how your proposed actions don't constitute bribery.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:52 PM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Please explain how your proposed actions don't constitute bribery.

Bribery is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty.

The elector would never receive any money but I can see where it would be a slippery slope that could be interpreted as bribing them. I can also see where it would backfire. So maybe not a good idea after all!
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:17 PM on November 11, 2016


The payment of the fines IS the "item of value". It doesn't matter that they didn't receive any money.
posted by yohko at 7:20 PM on November 11, 2016


I suspect it'd run up against GoFundMe's rules against illegal projects, whatever those are. I don't think they want to allow fundraisers for "Please break X law/violate X contract, and we will pay for the consequences."

Once fines have been assigned, raising money to pay them is different, and I expect that would be allowed. But raising in advance is easily seen as encouraging people to break the law.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 7:22 PM on November 11, 2016


1. You don't become an elecqtor by being someone who isn't super excited about voting for your party's candidate.

There are two - TWO - D. electors in Washington state who have -publicly declared that they will not vote for HRC no matter what.
posted by tristeza at 9:24 PM on November 11, 2016


Don't use GoFundMe - it allows the person to withdraw even without conditions being met.
posted by corb at 12:50 AM on November 12, 2016


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