Nevada electoral votes go to Clinton

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) Six electors from the Democratic Party took the oath administered by Nevada's Secretary of State and cast their electoral ballots for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Before the process began they were informed of a new law passed in 2013, a law that ties the elector to the popular vote in Nevada. They were warned if their vote deviated from the popular vote, they would be replaced by alternate electors.

Electors JoEtta Brown, Larry Jackson, Paul Catha, Rachakonda Dayananda, Greg Gardella, and Theresa Benitez-Thompson were selected by Nevada's Democratic Party for the role each played in this year's election.

As expected, six votes were cast for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, who won the swing state of Nevada November 8.-- one of the few bright spots for Democrats on election night when Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the Electoral College vote, 304 to 227.

While there were no surprises in Nevada, there were expectations that some electors in other states would vote their consciences.

Approximately 29 states including Nevada have laws that forbid such a practice and some constitutional experts say those laws could be challenged as in their opinion, such laws are in violation of federal law.

Delegate Greg Gardella says he understands why some delegates might want to vote that way but he thinks the popular vote should take priority.

“The original intent behind the electors was such that, actually there were multiple reasons they came into being and why having electors is important. I believe the original intent was to have the electors vote their conscience. Our state has locked it in that we have to follow the popular vote. I think that in this day and age, ultimately the popular vote is what is important,” says Gardella.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske says the electoral law was implemented for the first time this year.

Thus far it has never been challenged in federal court, but that doesn't mean it won't happen sometime in the future.

“Yes, anybody can go to court on anything they want, seems like. If they wanted to challenge it they could,” says Cegavske.

Cegavske says if lawmakers decide to change the law next legislative session, her office could not take a pro or con stance against the bill. The office, she says, could only offer expertise on how the law is implemented

Paul Catha was the youngest elector in Nevada to vote December 19, 2016. He says since he was 16 he has been engaged in politics and the Democratic Party. He says he worked hard this year trying to get younger voters involved in this year's presidential campaign.

While nationwide the election did not turn out as he had hoped, he finds comfort in the results coming out of Nevada.

“I worked countless hours seven days a week to elect Democrats. We did that here in Nevada. You know, we did what we could, so I can’t be sad about that. I’m just going to be happy with that fact, that you know, we elected Catherine Cortez-Masto, we flipped both houses of the legislature, than to be said about something I can’t change, or could have have any impact,” says Catha.