SC Democratic Party sends petition prior to vote
Secretary of State Mark Hammond convened the 2016 Electoral College Monday, December 19, 2016 at 11 a.m. in Columbia. Unanimously casting their votes for Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump of New York, and Vice Presidential nominee Michael R. Pence of Indiana. “As South Carolina’s Secretary of State, I am proud to certify the electoral votes that will be tallied by a joint session of Congress and officially elect the President and Vice President of the United States,” said Secretary of State Hammond. “With this vote, we become part of our country’s great history and future.”
As part of a national effort to have electors go against their responsibility to the Electoral College process, and claims of foreign influence on the election, earlier today the South Carolina Democratic Party sent a petition to South Carolina’s nine members of the Electoral College in advance of their meeting. The petition, which had over 1400 signatures, called on electors to withhold their votes in the Electoral College until they receive a detailed intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election.
SC Electoral College members include: Donald Matthew Moore, At-large; Glenn A. McCall, At-large; Terry Hardesty, 1st Congressional District; Jim S. Ulmer, Jr., 2nd Congressional District; Brenda M. Bedenbaugh, 3rd Congressional District; William E. Conley, 4th Congressional District; Shery Smith, 5th Congressional District; Moye Graham, 6th Congressional District; and Jerry Hal Rovner, 7th Congressional District.Glenn A. McCall was elected President of the Electoral College, and Brenda M. Bedenbaugh was elected Secretary.
South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) provided coverage of the meeting, while Legislative Services Agency offered live streaming of the Electoral College on the South Carolina Legislature’s webpage. SCETV will make the 2016 Electoral College video available on their webpage at www.scetv.org. The video will also be available on the website of the South Carolina Legislature at www.scstatehouse.gov
The South Carolina Democratic Party petition that was sent to South Carolina’s members of the Electoral College was worded as follows:
December 19, 2016
South Carolina Presidential Electors:
“We, the undersigned, ask that you withhold your votes in the Electoral College until you are fully informed of all intelligence pertaining to Russian interference in the presidential election.
In Federalist No. 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the members of the Electoral College must be those “most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.” We have full confidence that this description applies to each of you and that you will faithfully employ these capabilities when you meet today.
Hamilton was particularly worried about “the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils” by “raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union.” Explaining the specific methods of by which this might be accomplished—methods that the Electoral College was designed to prevent—Hamilton worried that other groups of voters might be “tampered with beforehand.” Regrettably, the CIA has reportedly concluded that Russia engaged in espionage with the intent of tampering with voters so that they would favor Donald Trump, who has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It is therefore clear that for you to analyze, deliberate, and choose judiciously, you must be fully informed of all intelligence pertaining to Russian interference in our election. We believe that casting your Electoral College votes without becoming so informed would be inconsistent with the Constitution.”
Thank you for serving our state and our country in this vitally important role.”
More than 1400 Petition Signers (Names Available Upon Request)
Last week the South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Committee, at their meeting on Thursday, December 15, passed a resolution, calling on the Executive and Legislative Branches of the U. S. government to investigate FBI actions, as well as those of other federal agencies, that had the intent or result of possibly impacting the 2016 election, and to take appropriate action based on the findings of those investigation.
The petition was submitted in its original form by Moses W. Bell of Fairfield County and revised by SCDP Chair Jaime Harrison in accordance with the Executive Committee action. It reads as follows:
“WHEREAS, it is vital to the health of any democracy for law enforcement agencies to act in a strictly non-political manner, and to that end, it is a longstanding policy of the FBI to not comment on any investigations within 60 days of an election;
“WHEREAS, it was reported that fear of leaks from within his own agency prompted FBI Director James Comey to violate this policy in releasing an insinuation-filled letter regarding matters that proved legally inconsequential;
“WHEREAS, it was also reported that Director Comey refrained from issuing a public FBI statement on findings that Russia was responsible for cyber espionage benefiting Donald Trump out of concern that such a statement would appear too political;
“WHEREAS, the Hatch Act bars federal government employees from using their official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election;
“WHEREAS, the American people must have confidence that our political process is free of manipulation by all law enforcement and intelligence agencies, foreign and domestic;
“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the South Carolina Democratic Party calls on the Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Government to conduct thorough investigations of FBI actions, as well as those of other federal agencies, that had the intent or result of possibly impacting the 2016 election, and to take appropriate action based on the findings of those investigations.”