SEATTLE - Could Washington State have another “faithless elector?” Democratic Elector Robert Satiacum, one of twelve Washington State electors, is conflicted and torn over 2016.
“I'm not going to be forced to go in there and pick out your poison. Not happening. Maybe this will start with something, we'll all stand up and speak up,” he told KING 5. “This is more than a presidential election; the world is in crisis mode!”
A local activist and member of the Puyallup Tribe, Satiacum supported Bernie Sanders for president and still does.
“We had a great deal of hope with Bernie, because he said that. That we're going to go back and redress the way we're dealing with Native American people and their concerns and their needs,” he said.
Citing the standoff at Standing Rock as an example, Satiacum worries about environmental policies, natural resources and trade. He says he believes Clinton and Trump are more similar than different.
“They’re detached. They don't understand. They don't feel what we're feeling. By her contributions and the people who fund her and support her, speaks volumes, speaks for itself,” he said.
While disillusioned, Satiacum is also conflicted, because he made a pledge to cast his electoral vote for Clinton is she wins in November.
Not doing so would add his name to history's list of so-called faithless electors. Republican State Senator Mike Padden of Spokane Valley is one of them. He cast a protest electoral vote for Ronald Reagan in 1976, instead of Gerald Ford.
While faithless electors have never altered the outcome of a modern day presidential election, it’s a risk that comes with a $1,000 fine and also moral dilemma.
“I need to find myself a ceremony or two and really pray about this situation,” Satiacum said.
He has until December, the month when electors meet in Olympia to make up his mind, and he may be undecided until the very end.
“They’re threatening me with a $1,000 fine,” he said. “Stand up for yourself, speak up, be yourself, we need more people like me. You know what I'm saying. I've been saying this world is on fire.”
A spokesman from the Washington State Democratic Party said “we are confident Clinton will win the presidency and that down ballot candidates will win the election.”
Copyright 2016 KING