Local Politics

NC elector: People want me to change my vote, but I'll vote Trump

Posted November 15, 2016
Updated June 12

— Although it appears that Hillary Clinton will end up with more total votes than Donald Trump in the presidential election, she won’t be taking up residence in the White House in January.

That will be Trump, who captured an Electoral College victory that helped propel him to a giant political upset.

So, when North Carolinians voted for president last week, they weren't actually voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton – they were voting to decide how the state’s 15 electors would cast their votes.

Lee Green, of Durham, is one of 15 people the Republican Party selected to represent North Carolina in the Electoral College. She said he is “honored and enthusiastic” to serve as one of the country’s 538 electors.

In North Carolina, one elector is elected at each of the 13 district conventions held by each political party. Two electors are elected at each political party’s state convention.  This represents North Carolina's 13 congressional representatives and 2 senators. The party whose presidential candidate wins the most votes in the state then sends their set of 15 electors to the Electoral College.  Green is an elector elected by the delegates at the North Carolina Republican state convention. The names of the electors are then filed with the North Carolina Secretary of State.

On Dec. 19, Green and the other electors will meet at the North Carolina State Capitol and cast their votes officially for the Trump-Pence ticket, representing the state.

Green said she is bound to vote for Trump, but that isn't stopping people from trying to convince her to switch.

“We have been bombarded with letters from people saying, 'Please change your vote,' which I think is quite disturbing that we would not follow the will of the people,” Green said.

State law forces electors to vote for the candidate who carried the state.

The discrepancy between the popular and electoral vote has made some very angry, but Green said that’s how the system works, and she’s going to vote based on the system the founding fathers had in mind.

“If we just went for popular vote, the candidates could focus on a few very big cities, but they would ignore the rest of the country,” she said.

Under North Carolina law, an elector who switches a vote is subject to a $500 fine, the vote would not be recorded and alternate electors would fill the vacancy.

The Electoral College was established in 1787. The founding fathers, the men who drafted the constitution, debated several formats for electing the president. They considered Congress voting, having the state legislatures choose, as well as using a direct popular vote.

They ultimately decided on the Electoral College format, as a compromise to consider the desires of the states and individual voters.

As Green prepares to cast her vote, she hopes people give Trump a chance.

“It's a turning point in history. Our country is so yearning for change, and I’m happy to be one who officially makes it happen,” she said.


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  • Cynthia Vinson Nov 16, 2016
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    At this point, who cares!

  • Byrd Ferguson Nov 16, 2016
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    "never having interviewed for a job in his life" - Michi

    I'd say the 2016 election was a pretty large interview...and he was hired.

  • Laurence Jones Nov 16, 2016
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    If Trump wanted to win the POPULAR VOTE........then he would have gone out and won the popular vote...........Instead he was interested in winning a couple of swing states.........and HE WON.

  • Michi Gauss Nov 16, 2016
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    Trump himself criticized the Electoral College as an old/antiquated and "a disaster for a democracy," in one of his 2012 Tweets. He wanted the US to end the Electoral College...that is, until he was able to win the presidency using it. This year he declared the election (and system underlying it) "rigged"...that is, until he won the presidency, then suddenly it was "fair." A system or policy in which Trump wins is considered "tremendous" by him. Anything that goes against what he wants for himself is "a disaster." There's only 2 points on any scale with Trump: "tremendous" or "disaster."

    I'm still chuckling that a man born into a multi-millionaire family, never having interviewed for a job in his life, who lives in a gold encrusted 30,000 ft, 3 floor NYC penthouse was able to convince people he's "the guy who understands & identifies with the working class problems" AS IF!

  • Alex Stephens Nov 16, 2016
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    If you want to get rid of the electoral college, then I guess you want to get rid of the U.S. Senate too—that way small States will have no say in the Federal government, which is what I presume to be your goal. Oh, & following that logic you would want to eliminate the NC Senate too I presume.

  • Rod Runner Nov 16, 2016
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    "“If we just went for popular vote, the candidates could focus on a few very big cities, but they would ignore the rest of the country,” she said."

    This already happens now and leads to other things. Trump focused very little on California because he knows he would not win it. Same thing for Hillary in places like Wyoming or Montana. I doubt Trump even paid much attention to WY or Montana, as they were in the bag for him. Did either one even visit Hawaii or Alaska?

    No one focused on "big cities" but they focused on 4 states almost exclusively. Look how many times Trump and Clinton came to NC and Ohio.

    Back when it was created, it made sense. No one could travel very far in a day. So election campaigning was very limited. They didn't want people focusing on only big cities, as it would have been easy. Also, the country was much, much smaller.

    Now it is vast and you can be on the west coast, east coast, Chicago, and Dallas all in the same day.

  • Steve Smith Nov 16, 2016
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    In other news NOT reported on WRAL, (imagine that), the dollar hit a 14 year high! The fight has just begun conservatives, put pressure on your congressperson to enact the Trump agenda! HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN! Unless of course your not American, but then again "Toys R Us," does sell Play-doh and Coloring Books.

  • Paul Donovan Nov 16, 2016
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    Typical liberals, if you can't win then cheat.

  • Sean Creasy Nov 16, 2016
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    Considering how biased the media has been up to this point I have to wonder how accurate the information in this story is... All I've heard over the past year or more is how wonderful Hillary is and how evil Trump is when the truth is Hillary was just as bad if not worse... Let it go people... Let it go....

  • Judy Loftin Nov 16, 2016
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    The founding fathers knew the crazies would be out there. They were wise beyond their time.