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'Faithful Elector' bill moving through the Legislature


The Legislature is considering a bill that’s been dubbed the “Faithful Elector” bill.

North Dakota law does not require an elector to vote for the Presidential candidate that won the state.

The bill would change that.

Former Bismarck State Senator John Olson was a Republican elector in the 2016 race. He was prepared to vote for Donald Trump. But he was being pressured to change his vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I think I counted at least a thousand or more letters, hard-copy letters, that would be stuffed in my mailbox, for those times that were after the election and the time the electoral college met," Olson said.

Olson said he knows he got at least 20,000 e-mails.

“From my memory, 99 percent of them came from out of state," Olson said.  “They came from every community in the country, and made all kinds of different arguments as to why I should not support Trump. It was an interesting experience.”

Olson said the contact were trying to denigrate Trump's qualifications, while praising Clinton.

Olson said at the end, he sided with tradition.

“You know, I was a Republican elector, so I voted my party," Olson said.  "I mean, I was not going to vote for Clinton under any circumstances, so that left me no choice but to vote for Trump.”

Olson said he supports the bill now pending in the Legislature.

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