Two Colorado presidential electors have filed a new federal lawsuit against Secretary of State Wayne Williams, saying that threats he made leading up to last year’s dramatic Electoral College vote violated their constitutional rights. The lawsuit was announced Tuesday by Equal Citizens, an advocacy group, on behalf of two Democratic electors, Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich, who argue that the U.S. Constitution gives presidential electors the right to vote their conscience. That right, they said, was violated when Williams adopted a new policy aimed at compelling them to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote, Hillary Clinton.
“Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich believed the special circumstances of the last election required that they vote their conscience, contrary to a pre-election pledge,” Larry Lessig, one of their attorneys, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
“Secretary Williams took the egregious step of threatening them with removal, as well as criminal prosecution, if they did so.”
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court is the latest in a series of legal challenges to Colorado’s electoral rules, which require presidential electors to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote.