Democratic voters are at an all-time low after their candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost last week. Now they’re doing everything possible to change the outcome of the election.
And that means protesting, creating petitions, and trying to persuade members of the Electoral College to vote for Clinton rather than President-elect Donald Trump.
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Anti-Trump supporters have aimed their sights on the Electoral College, arguing that since Clinton won 48% of the popular vote, opposed to Trumps 47%, she should be the first female president. Obviously, that will be an uphill battle, but the protestors are desperate.
The Electoral College is part of the Constitution and is composed of 538 members. Each state and the District of Columbia have one member, or electorate, for every senator or House lawmaker. Any presidential candidate needs a minimum of 270 electoral votes to win. Trump far surpassed that, receiving 290 electoral votes.
However, members of the college don’t actually cast their votes until December 19, leaving Clinton supporters with a small glimmer of “hope” to still change the election result. A petition on Change.org asks the Electoral College to elect Clinton when they cast their votes. On Saturday, the petition was sitting at 3 million signatures, and its goal is to have 4.5 million signatures before the December 19 vote.
Rules vary per state on how the electorate can vote. Many states require the electorate to vote according to party lines and support the candidate who won the college vote. However, petition organizers argue that some states don’t require their electorates to vote for the presidential nominee who had the most votes in their state, leaving them free to vote as they choose.
If an electorate places a vote for the candidate not chosen by their state, the petition points out that “their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine.” The organizer added, “We can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!”
One petition supporter took to social media to spread the word of the petition: “It’s our chance of getting Trump out of the White House.”
Before the election Clinton and Trump reportedly both called for an end to the Electoral College since most voters think the system is no longer needed to safeguard the country from a dictatorship. This has only fueled the anti-Trump supporters’ argument and petition.
A Baltimore Sun editorial, which was published this weekend, wrote that the college is “the product of an 18th-century compromise forged over issues that no longer apply and resting on assumptions about the wisdom of the average person we no longer hold…It has not worked the way it was intended almost from the very beginning.”
Now, will this happen? There is little to no chance of the petition actually working. If electorates did as asked, they may as well disband the college. What would be the point of the college if electorates can be swayed so easily under pressure?