A group of Colorado Democratic electors seeking to vote against Hillary Clinton in defiance of the state’s popular vote are asking the Colorado Supreme Court to set aside a Denver judge’s ruling allowing the Secretary of State to replace them. The petition, filed with the state Supreme Court on Thursday, is the latest legal maneuver to arise from the group known as the “Hamilton Electors,” a movement aimed at blocking Republican businessman Donald Trump from the presidency by forcing an Electoral College deadlock. On Tuesday, the Denver District Court dealt a blow to the movement, ruling that state law requires electors to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates who received the most votes in the state. Denver District Judge Elizabeth Starrs also ruled that the Colorado Secretary of State can replace any elector that violates that law.
In Thursday’s filing, the group’s attorney, Jesse Witt, argued that the state district court had no jurisdiction to tell federal electors how to vote, because the Electoral College is a function of federal law.
The district court’s order arose after Democratic electors in Colorado threatened to abandon Clinton and partner with Republican electors in other states to nominate an alternative candidate — a last-ditch move to prevent Trump from receiving the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
In response, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, asked the court to rule that voting for a presidential candidate other than Clinton was a violation of state law, and would create an Electoral College vacancy under state code that would then have to be filled.