[It is my comprehension that, originally when people could not ‘travel’ to their respective polling stations, they sent their ‘electors’ to place their vote for them. If that is true, is it necessary today? I think not.]
Voters in each state and the District of Columbia cast ballots selecting electors pledged to presidential and vice presidential candidates. In nearly all states, electors are awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who wins the most votes in that state. Although no elector is required by federal law to honor a pledge, in the overwhelming majority of cases each elector votes as pledged. The 12th Amendment provides for each elector to cast one vote for President and one vote for Vice President. It also specifies how a President and Vice President are elected.
Electors in these States are bound by State Law or by pledges to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
ALASKA – Party Pledge / State Law – § 15.30.040; 15.30.070
CALIFORNIA – State Law – § 6906
COLORADO – State Law – § 1-4-304
CONNECTICUT – State Law – § 9-175
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – DC Pledge / DC Law – § 1-1312(g)
FLORIDA – Party Pledge / State Law – § 103.021(1)
HAWAII – State Law – §§ 14-26 to 14-28
MAINE – State Law – § 805
MARYLAND – State Law – § 20-4
MASSACHUSETTS – Party Pledge / State Law – Ch. 53, § 8, Supp.
MICHIGAN – State Law – §168.47 (Violation cancels vote and Elector is replaced.)
MISSISSIPPI – Party Pledge / State Law – §23-15-785(3)
MONTANA – State Law – § 13-25-104
NEBRASKA – State Law – § 32-714
NEVADA – State Law – § 298.050
NEW MEXICO – State Law – § 1-15-5 to 1-15-9 (Violation is a fourth degree felony.)
NORTH CAROLINA – State Law – § 163-212 (Violation cancels vote; elector is replaced and is subject to $500 fine.)
OHIO – State Law – § 3505.40
OKLAHOMA – State Pledge / State Law – 26, §§ 10-102; 10-109 (Violation of oath is a misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $1000.)
OREGON – State Pledge / State Law – § 248.355
SOUTH CAROLINA – State Pledge / State Law – § 7-19-80 (Replacement and criminal sanctions for violation.)
VERMONT – State Law – title 17, § 2732
* VIRGINIA – State Law – § 24.1-162 (Virginia statute may be advisory – “Shall be expected” to vote for nominees.)
WASHINGTON – Party Pledge / State Law – §§ 29.71.020, 29.71.040, Supp. ($1000 fine.)
WISCONSIN – State Law – § 7.75
WYOMING – State Law – §§ 22-19-106; 22-19-108
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
Certificates should begin arriving at NARA shortly after the general election held on November 6, 2012. The Archives makes a record of the Certificates of Ascertainment it receives and transmits them to the OFR’s Legal Affairs and Policy Staff by special delivery. The OFR logs in a record of the Certificates and checks them for facial legal sufficiency. If there are any problems with a Certificate, an OFR attorney calls the contact person in the State to advise them of the defect. The OFR makes copies of the Certificates of Ascertainment available for public inspection and secures the originals.
The United States Constitution and Federal law do not prescribe the method of appointment other than requiring that electors must be appointed on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November (November 6, 2012).
6, 2012—Election Day:
The voters in each State choose electors to serve in the Electoral College. As soon as election results are final, the States prepare seven original "Certificates of Ascertainment" of the electors chosen, and send one original along with two certified copies to the Archivist of the United States at the Office of the Federal Register.
17, 2012—Meeting of Electors:
The electors in each State meet to select the President and Vice President of the United States. The Electors record their votes on six “Certificates of Vote,” which are paired with the six remaining original “Certificates of Ascertainment.” The electors sign, seal and certify the packages of electoral votes and immediately send them to the Federal and State officials listed in these instructions.
26, 2012—Deadline for Receipt of Electoral Votes:
The President of the Senate, the Archivist of the United States, and other designated Federal and State officials must have the electoral votes in hand.
6, 2013—Counting Electoral Votes in Congress:
The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes (unless Congress passes a law to change the date).