The result of today’s vote is anybody’s guess. But, does the United States Electoral College have the power to change history?
The faithless elector—words that sound ominous. A faithless elector is s a member of the U.S. Electoral College who does not vote for the presidential or vice-presidential candidate for whom they had pledged to vote.
See, the U.S. Electoral College is a strange beast. As we all know, citizens of the U.S. do not actually elect the president or the vice president directly; instead, “electors” are chosen to pledge a vote for a particular candidate on behalf of their respective U.S. State residents every four years.
Electors in all states, with the exceptions of Maine and Nebraska, have been chosen to pledge votes on a “winner-take-all” basis since the 1880s. Under this method, all of a state’s electors vote for the candidate who wins the most votes in that state.
However, Maine and Nebraska use the “congressional district method”, which means each congressional district gets an elector to vote on its behalf and then two separate electors vote according to the statewide popular vote.
In the end, however, electors are often free to vote as they see fit without any consequence.
Georgia and Texas are two of 21 states without faithless elector laws. That means, there’s no penalty for voting against your statewide consensus. In addition, while the other 29 states (and D.C.) have such laws, no faithless elector has ever been prosecuted, according to the Archives and The Washington Post.
There have been several occasions where electors have broken their pledge to vote for a particular candidate. Although faithless electors have a small place in history, considering they are few and far between, they do have the power to change the outcome of an election.
Despite polling efforts, you might say this election is impossible—literally—to predict.
You can predict, however, firm fees for your clients. In fact, more and more clients, both large and small, are proactively asking for cost predictability, certainty, and transparency.
Law firms, for their part, can work toward creating a pricing strategy that goes beyond one-size-fits-all, and attracts more business through alternative fee arrangements.
Transparency is essential—whether in politics or business—where the devil is in the pricing details. Craft new policies that require your firm to share data with its clients about how your work is being allocated and billed.
These days, data analytics is an easy way to support pricing decisions (and delight clients with your tech-savvy sophistication). This will improve your firm efficiency, as well as client satisfaction.
To learn more, take the Center for Competitive Management’s webinar, “Utilizing Alternative Fee Arrangements for Greater Predictability & Client Satisfaction.”
Like every (electoral) vote, every dollar counts for your client.