The phenomenon known as a “faithless elector” — an Electoral College voter who casts a vote for someone other than the candidate who won that state’s popular vote — is a rare one. Of course, 2016 being the year of political upheaval that it was, there was much talk of faithless electors, particularly those that might abandon President-elect Donald Trump, when the Electoral College convened on Monday. As it turned out, only a handful of electors bailed on Trump and some bailed on Hillary Clinton. In Washington state, which Clinton carried on Election Day, four electors abandoned Clinton. Three of those faithless electors cast their votes for Colin Powell, and the fourth cast a vote for, interestingly for Faith — 68-year-old Faith Spotted Eagle, to be specific.
Spotted Eagle, from South Dakota’s Yankton Sioux Reservation, has been an outspoken opponent of the controversial KeyStone XL Pipeline project. The vote for her was meant as a call for attention to the state of the environment, the elector who cast that vote, Robert Satiacum, said. In addition, the vote was a historic one because it is believed to have made Spotted Eagle the first Native American to receive an Electoral College vote for the presidency.
The vote certainly caught Spotted Eagle by surprise. “I thought it was fake news,” she remarked. “I told my daughter, ‘Is this real?’ She said, ‘I think it is.'” Spotted Eagle went on to say that she expects the next four years to be less hospitable for those who are concerned about the environment. “The people coming in are pro-oil, so I think for the next four years we’re going to be in a battle, and I think all of America is going to be in a battle,” she said.
Read the full story at Newser.