Do the Electors Vote by Secret Ballot?

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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"?

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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.

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