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Elector Gets The Boot After Defying Colorado Law, Could Face Charges

By Tom Mustin

DENVER (CBS4) - There was plenty of drama at the Colorado state Capitol on Monday during the Electoral College vote.

Protesters shouted after Micheal Baca was replaced by another elector for refusing to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"I voted for John Kasich and Tim Kaine," Baca told CSB4's Tom Mustin.

Micheal Baca
Micheal Baca during the vote (credit: CBS)

Under state law, the nine electors have to vote for the winning presidential candidate in Colorado. In this case it was Clinton.

A judge had recently overturned a lawsuit filed by two electors, including former Colorado Sen. Polly Baca, to change the law. It was all part of a long-shot effort nationwide to keep Donald Trump from collecting the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Polly Baca (no relation to Micheal Baca) says she supports her colleague's decision.

Former Colorado Sen. Polly Baca
Former Colorado Sen. Polly Baca (credit: CBS)

"I think he had a right to vote as he intended according to his conscience," Polly Baca said.

Eventually all eight electors and the replacement voted for Clinton. Secretary of State Wayne Williams says the failed suit should have ended the controversy.

"We are a nation of laws. Judges reviewed the claims, decisions. They made those decisions," Williams said.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (credit: CBS)

The vote had been delayed Monday after a judge denied a last-minute appeal regarding the wording of the oath.

Michael Baca could face charges.

"We're going to wait and see if charges will be filed. At this point they have not been. He has not been arrested, " Michael Baca's attorney Jason Wesoky said.

After an unprecedented day following an unprecedented election, Williams says any further punishment is out of his hands.

Micheal Baca
Micheal Baca after the vote (credit: CBS)

"Do you think Michael Baca should face prosecution?" asked Mustin.

"I think it's appropriate for the (attorney general) to review that matter and make that decision," Williams said. "I do think you should follow your oath and I'm disappointed he didn't."

Three million Coloradans voted in the presidential election -- the most in state history.

Tom Mustin is CBS4's Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Connect with Tom on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TomCBS4.

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