Politics

Presidential Electors Plotting Revolt Against Trump

| by David Bonner

Efforts continue in the attempt to block President-elect Donald Trump from actually taking the presidency, including trying to persuade electors in the Electoral College to vote for someone other than Trump.

The Electoral College takes place five weeks after the election, as explained by CBS News. There are 538 electors -- one for each congressional district, plus two for the senate seats. The electors’ ballots are counted on Jan 6, at which time the election results become official.

However, about half the states do not bind their electors to the winning candidate, enabling so-called “faithless electors” to vote for someone else if they so choose.

Trump himself has called the Electoral College a “disaster for democracy,” and in a Nov. 13 interview with "60 Minutes," said he would still prefer elections to be determined by the popular vote – despite the fact that he lost the popular vote in this election by a margin of almost 2 million, Politico observes.

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The campaign against the Electoral College is being led by some half-dozen Democratic electors. In addition to encouraging Republican electors to vote against Trump, they are also prodding Democratic electors to oppose former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in favor of a moderate Republican like Mitt Romney or John Kasich.

Although they have little hope of actually preventing Trump from becoming president, they aim to at least undermine the legitimacy of the electoral college.

That is a reasonable goal, according to George Edwards III, a political science professor and Electoral College expert at Texas A&M University. "If you could get eight or 10 Trump electors to vote for someone else ... then that would probably get people's attention.”

In U.S. history, there have been 157 faithless electors, and they’ve never decided a presidential election, notes Fairvote.org. There have been only seven faithless electors since World War II, with one in each of the 1948, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1988 elections.

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Sources: Politico, CBS News, Fairvote.org / Photo credit: Transition 2017/Wikimedia Commons

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