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Old 02-15-2017, 11:27 AM
s_cobert76 s_cobert76 is offline
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Has anyone tried previously to sway Electors' votes to change US election results?

With the furor over Trump being elected President, it was common knowledge that attempts were being made to influence Republican Electors to change their votes and effectively steal the election from him. Of course that didn't work. But I find myself wondering, are there any recorded instances of such things happening in previous elections? Did groups try to wine and dine Electors, or even out-and-out bribe them, to change their votes? Or on a darker note, were Electors threatened or blackmailed in an effort to get them to vote against party lines?
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:46 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Not exactly "sway", more like "outright steal". The election of 1876 featured some extreme shenanigans:
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The first returns on election day, Tuesday, November 7, 1876, indicated a clear victory for the Democratic presidential nominee, Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York.... Both Tilden and his Republican challenger, Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, went to bed assuming that the Democrats had captured the White House for the first time in twenty years.

In dismay, Republican Daniel Sickles decided to attend the theater in New York on election night. The colorful Sickles was a former congressman who had been acquitted in 1859 of fatally shooting his wife’s lover on a Washington D.C. street in broad daylight. A courageous Union general, he lost his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, and later served as U.S. minister to Spain (1869-1873). At nearly midnight, on his way home on election night, Sickles stopped by the Republican headquarters to check the returns. He soon realized that if Hayes lost no more Northern states and won the states of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, then the Republican nominee would win the Electoral College tally by one vote. Sickles rushed off telegrams to Republican leaders in those states, under the signature of Republican national chairman Zachariah Chandler, who was sleeping off a bottle of whiskey, urging them to hold their states for the Republicans.

...

When the dust settled, Tilden had won the popular vote, with 4,284,020 (51%) to Hayes’s 4,036,572 (48%), a margin of less than 250,000. The only thing that mattered, though, was the Electoral College count, and there, Tilden’s 184 electoral votes were one short of a majority, while Hayes’s 165 electoral votes left him 20 ballots shy of the presidency. The remaining 20 electoral votes were in dispute: one from Oregon and 19 from the three Southern states which still retained Reconstruction governments—Florida (4), Louisiana (8), and South Carolina (7).
Of course, none of us learned about President Tilden in school, because further extreme backroom wrangling ensued, resulting in a compromise that put Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House. Go read the full story, it's something else.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:01 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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In the 1960 election (which John F. Kennedy won), there was a campaign to have the Republican electors, who were in the minority, vote for Harry F. Byrd instead of Richard Nixon. While this did end up getting a few votes, the majority of the Republican electors felt that they had a moral obligation to vote for Nixon and refused to become faithless electors.

In the 1836 election, 23 electors from Virginia refused to vote for vice presidential candidate Richard Johnson since Johnson had an open affair with a slave mistress, which was a big scandal at the time. As a result, Johnson did not receive the majority votes needed by the electorate. Johnson went on to be elected vice president by the senate.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:50 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
Not exactly "sway", more like "outright steal". The election of 1876 featured some extreme shenanigans:


Of course, none of us learned about President Tilden in school, because further extreme backroom wrangling ensued, resulting in a compromise that put Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House. Go read the full story, it's something else.
Speak for yourself. I certainly did learn about this in HS. And all those disputed votes were awarded to the Republicans by the same 8-7 vote of the committee chaired by the Chief Justice of the US. Guess how many Dems and how many Reps were on the committee to decide the outcome. Hayes was known as "8 and 7". There was a price paid, however. The Republicans agreed to end reconstruction. After that Negros were no longer permitted to vote in the south until the civil rights acts of the 1960s. It was a combination of literacy laws unfairly administered and the Klan who would lynch any uppity black who tried to vote. All this I learned in HS.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:54 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
Speak for yourself. I certainly did learn about this in HS. And all those disputed votes were awarded to the Republicans by the same 8-7 vote of the committee chaired by the Chief Justice of the US. Guess how many Dems and how many Reps were on the committee to decide the outcome. Hayes was known as "8 and 7". There was a price paid, however. The Republicans agreed to end reconstruction. After that Negros were no longer permitted to vote in the south until the civil rights acts of the 1960s. It was a combination of literacy laws unfairly administered and the Klan who would lynch any uppity black who tried to vote. All this I learned in HS.
The "we didn't learn about President Tilden" remark was meant in the sense of "Tilden didn't get to be president because hijinks," not an indictment of anyone's schooling.
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Old 02-16-2017, 02:06 AM
Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is offline
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They ended up in the exact opposite position, but the Bush campaign in 2000 prepared to campaign for Gore electors to switch their votes if Gore lost the popular vote.
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