Five New Jersey Electoral College members who were elected on November 4thon a slate pledged to Barack Obama have resigned. The five – Mike Muller, Kelly Stewart Maer, Carmen Brown, Margaret Martin-Brown, and Elizabeth Duthie – have been replaced by Ken Saunders, Jose Colon, Shavonda Sumter, Wilma Grey and Stacy Lubrecht. There is no legal obstacle about filling Electoral College vacancies, but there is some confusion as to the process.
According to the Democratic State Committee, a three-person committee on vacancies – State Chairman Joseph Cryan, Executive Director Rob Asaro-Angelo, and lobbyist Josh Hodes – met to pick the new electors. But state law gives the power to fill Electoral College vacancies to the other electors.
So as long as the other ten electors vote to ratify the picks of the unofficial COV, Barack Obama shouldn’t have any trouble getting fifteen votes out of New Jersey when the Electoral College meets in Trenton on Monday.
Read the state law:
19:36-2 Vacancies; filling.
19:36-2. a. When a vacancy shall happen in the college of electors, or when an elector shall fail to attend, by the hour of three o’clock in the afternoon of the day fixed by congress for the meeting of the college of electors, at the place of holding such meeting, those of such electors who shall be assembled at the hour and place shall immediately proceed to fill by a majority of votes such vacancy.
b. If the members of the electoral college shall have been nominated and elected as representing different political parties, any vacancy occurring shall be filled by the elector or electors representing the same political party as the absent elector; and if there shall be no elector present representing the same political party as the absent elector, then such vacancy shall be filled by a majority of the electors present, who shall choose some person of the political party which the absent elector represents.
c. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections a. and b. of this section, in any year in which, on July 20, the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote” is in effect in states cumulatively possessing a majority of the electoral votes, and the State of New Jersey remains a member of that agreement, any vacancy in the college of electors shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of section 1 of this act, P.L.2007, c.334 (C.19:36-4).
Amended 2007, c.334, s.5.