A record-breaking number of people have signed a petition asking the Electoral College to reverse the election results
Approximately one month after Donald Trump’s shocking victory, a record-breaking number of people (4.7 million as of today) have signed a petition asking the Electoral College to reverse the election results. It’s not a matter of being sore losers — Hillary Clinton currently leads the popular vote by 2.5 million, and this number is likely to increase because there are still uncounted ballots in California and New York — two of America’s most liberal states.
Although it's highly unlikely, it is technically possible that the Electors can reverse the results when they cast their ballots on December 19th. In 14 of the states that Trump carried, Electors can choose to vote for Hillary Clinton without facing a legal penalty, The Independent reports.
The petition was started by Daniel Brezenoff, a clinical social worker and professor in California, and it isn’t driven solely by the fact that Clinton won the popular vote by a significant margin.
When the Electoral College was set up, Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 68 that the job of Electors is to stop people with “[t]alents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity and individuals who would “convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements" from becoming president.
Over 200 years ago, it seems like Hamilton predicted that a demagogue like Trump may someday prevail — and, in that case, it’s the Electors’ job to protect the country by keeping him out of The White House.
As the petition states, Electors who cast their ballots for Clinton will preserve the majority rule and prevent the most unqualified candidate in history from moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January.
"Never in our Republic's 240 years has our President had no previous experience in an office of public trust, be it elected or appointed, civilian or military. Never has a President admitted to sexual assaults. Never has a President encouraged violence at campaign events," Brezenoff writes. "There is no reason electors cannot vote with their conscience. They are not taking away the majority vote, and are not violating the Constitution."
There are multiple reasons Electors should vote with their conscience and put their support behind Clinton. But, in a historically nightmarish election cycle, we’re not getting our hopes up.
Still, this record-breaking petition is incredibly important. It sends the strong message that Trump is not the people's president and, therefore, he has no mandate. Although the election results are devastating, we need to remember that more people said "Stronger Together" and voted for love over hate.