Do the Electors Vote by Secret Ballot?

Answers to your questions about the news.
Dec. 13 2000 5:34 PM

Do the Electors Vote by Secret Ballot?

When the Electoral College electors cast their ballots on Dec. 18, will we all know whom they voted for and if any of them are "faithless"?


We'll know. Electors are already pledged to vote for the winner of the popular vote in their state (except for Maine and Nebraska, which cast their votes proportionately), so there's nothing secret about it. If an elector decides to be faithless and vote for someone besides who they are pledged to, he or she would have to publicly refuse to sign the pre-printed certificate. Although exact procedures vary from state to state, in general on the day electors vote they meet in public at their respective state capitols. Usually no one in the world outside of the people who have to be there pays any attention to these gatherings. But usually no one in the world outside of the people who have to be there pays any attention to election recounts, either. 

Explainer thanks Michael White of the Office of the Federal Register.




More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.