California, despite losing the lawsuit San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee v Eu in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1989, still regulates political parties to an unusual degree. California Election Code section 7300 tells the Republican Party that “the Republican nominees for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Controller, Attorney General, and Secretary of State…shall act as presidential electors.”
This law has several problems. First, because voters passed Proposition 14 in 2010, parties in California no longer have nominees (except for President, Vice-President and presidential elector). Second, even if the law is interpreted to mean mere members of the Republican Party who appeared on the November 2014 ballot with a Republican preference label, should Neel Kashkari become a Republican candidate for presidential elector in 2016? He was the only person who ran for Governor in November 2014 with a preference for the Republican Party. However, he is now head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The U.S. Constitution, Article II, says no one can be an elector who holds “an office of trust or profit under the United States.”
The California Secretary of State’s office says it has no opinion as to whether an officer of the Federal Reserve is eligible or not, and that the Republican Party will decide. But the California Republican Party says it expects the Secretary of State to advise it on this matter. Thanks to Mark Seidenberg for this news.
Nothing in the U.S. Constitution, or in California election law, says candidates for presidential elector from California must be California residents.