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Former Iowa elector supports SCOTUS ruling giving states power to compel electors to side with popular vote

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(KWWL) -- Jim Whitmer, a former elector for the Iowa Republicans in 2016 says he felt pressured to be a faithless elector, someone who goes against the popular vote in their state.

"There was no way I was going to do it," Whitmer said as he recalled the numerous emails and phone calls he received pushing him to not vote for Donald Trump. "In certain states, it's perfectly legal to be a faithless elector and Iowa is one of those states."

Although, that could soon change as the US Supreme Court ruled Monday states could compel electors to side with popular vote of its citizens. Whitmer agrees with their decision.

"As I've been reading about it, public opinion is in favor of the supreme court's decision in that they support binding the Electoral College votes to what happens in the state level," KWWL Political Analyst Chris Larimer said Monday.

He added that supporting the court's Monday ruling is not the same as supporting or disagreeing with the concept of the Electoral College.

"Remember, this protects the smaller states in giving them a voice in who our president is," said Black Hawk County Republican Chair LeaAnn Saul.

In our own small poll on Facebook, most supported the court's decision, however, comments varied on the Electoral College though. Many people agreed with Saul that the process gives less populated states a say while others think it should be one American, one vote.

Chair of Black Hawk County Democrats, Vikki Brown, supports the college because such rogue votes of faithless electors are so rare. Her concern is that not enough understand their vote.

"So many people, voters, aren't aware that they're not voting for the candidate, they're voting for the electors to cast their vote. That's why a lot of people feel their votes don't count when they do," Brown said.

In 2016, President Trump lost the popular vote but won the vote of the Electoral College. This was not due to any faithless electors, but rather how electors are divided among the states.

The Pew Research Center conducted a study in March of 2020 that showed 40% of Americans support the Electoral College while 58% would rather have the popular vote decide the presidency.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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