Maine elector switches Sanders vote to Clinton
A Maine elector who attempted to cast his vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday switched his vote over to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton after his ballot was ruled invalid.
Elector David Bright’s ballot for Sanders triggered a second vote, according to a local NBC affiliate, at which point he voted for Clinton.
Members of the Electoral College are meeting in their state capitals around the country to almost assuredly seal President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.
Bright said in a statement posted on Facebook that he would have cast his vote for Clinton if that vote could have helped the Democratic nominee win the White House.
“But as the Electoral College meets all across this nation on this day, I see no likelihood of 38 Republican electors defecting from their party and casting their ballots for Secretary Clinton,” he said.
“So Hillary Clinton will not become President, and there is nothing I can do about that. Knowing this, I was left to find a positive statement I could make with my vote.”
Bright described himself not as a Clinton elector, but instead as a “Democratic elector” who represents Democrats in Maine.
“I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders not out of spite, or malice, or anger, or as an act of civil disobedience. I mean no disrespect to our nominee,” he said.
“I cast my vote to represent thousands of Democratic Maine voters — many less than a third my age — who came into Maine politics for the first time this year because of Bernie Sanders.”
Bright commended the many people who got involved during the primary season to help the Vermont senator, Clinton’s primary rival, who won the Maine primary.
When Sanders did not become the Democratic nominee, Bright said many of these people became disinterested and lost hope. At that point, many who had voted for Sanders felt the Democratic Party “had not listened to them, did not care about them, and did not respect them.”
“Their sense of loss in July became our Party’s loss in November,” he said.
“Democracy is hard, and messy, and complicated, and those of us who have been at this game for a long time have learned to take the defeats when they come. But those lessons don’t come easily for new voters,” he continued.
“So I cast my Electoral College vote for Bernie Sanders today to let those new voters who were inspired by him know that some of us did hear them, did listen to them, do respect them and understand their disappointment.”
Bright said he wants these young voters to know they are welcome back in the Democratic Party.
“To go forward, the Democratic Party needs these young voters,” he said.
“More importantly, America needs these young voters,” he wrote. “I can’t do anything to change the results of the election this year. But perhaps by encouraging these idealistic voters to stick around, I can change the results of elections to come.”
In Maine, Clinton received three of the state’s four electoral votes, with the other one going to Trump, who won the state’s 2nd Congressional District.
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