It has been less than 48 hours since Republican Donald Trump became the president-elect of the electoral college for the 2016 presidential election, and Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. It is the second time in five presidential elections that the person who won more votes by Americans did not become president-elect of the United States. As the New York Post reports, there is one scenario that could turn the current results of the 2016 electoral map around and legally put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
As the Inquisitr reported Wednesday, within the 48 hours of Trump’s win, Google searches for the phrase “how to impeach a President” rose by 4,850 percent.
Additionally, on Wednesday, there were protests sweeping the nation from coast to coast in at least seven major American cities, protesting the Trump presidency with the hashtag #NotMyPresident. A nation-wide protest against a president-elect has never happened in the history of America.
The United States of America are not united. Many Americans are looking for a way to have that popular vote heard and to avoid a Trump presidency for the next four years.
There is a legal way, although it is a long shot. Even so, every electoral map poll for 2016 said Donald Trump’s chances of getting into the White House were a long shot as well.
As the electoral college is set up, there is a time frame between the election and Inauguration Day, during which the electoral college decides who will become the next president of the United States. It is during this time frame and these legal and Constitutionally-protected proceedings under which Hillary Clinton could still feasibly become the next president of the United States, reports the New York Post.
The variable that could change everything is called the “faithless elector.” For those who have lost hope in the electoral college and the popular vote, the New York Post says there is a “surprise twist” within the electoral college system that could upturn everything that happened this week in the election and still put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
The New York Post reports that the United States Constitution says that the “real people who will vote for President” are the electoral college. And they have a chance to engage the “faithless elector” vote on December 19 and change everything. After the election in November, all of the electors of the electoral college meet in December to vote again. This is when things could change.
Many Americans are already calling on the electoral college to be a faithless elector for Hillary Clinton, and a petition to the White House was started for this, asking the White House to get involved.
The New York Times reports that the electoral college in December will take into account the popular vote. In all 50 states, except Nebraska and Maine, the party that wins the popular vote in that state sends their electors to the state capital in December. For example, California will send Democratic electors, and states that went red on election night will send Republican electors.
Most of the electors will vote with the popular vote in their state or, at least, that is how it usually goes. However, an elector can “go rogue” and vote for whoever they want, and this is exactly what a “faithless elector” actually is. It has never happened that a faithless elector, or a group of faithless electors, has changed the decision of a November outcome.
But nationwide protests in the streets after an election has never happened either, and that is happening now.
When Americans go to the polls on Election Day, they are not theoretically even voting for their president. They are voting for their elector to elect the president, reports the New York Times. This is why a candidate wins “electoral college votes” during election night, and not the popular vote of democracy.
So, for example, Hillary Clinton won 20 electoral college votes in Illinois, 55 electoral college votes in California, and 29 electoral college votes in New York. All of those electors will go to the electoral college in December and vote on who they think should be president. They will vote for Hillary Clinton because that is what the popular vote determined in that state.
All of these states and more are currently experiencing anti-Trump protests in the nationwide #NotMyPresident trend.
But the electors don’t necessarily have to vote with their party. There are 29 states that legally require that they do, and the electoral college does have penalties for this. But the penalties of a faithless elector are not any more serious than a $1,000 fine and have rarely if ever been enforced, reports Time Magazine.
Things could get dicey for Donald Trump if the electoral college goes rogue or some electors just think about it. His problem could be in those states that were too close to call on election night and previously led Democratic in the 2016 electoral college map polls the day before the election.
In Michigan, for example, a state expected to go blue, Hillary Clinton lost the state by 13,000 votes out of 5 million cast. She lost Pennsylvania, which was expected to go blue, by 69,000 out of almost six million cast. If the electors from Michigan or Pennsylvania or other close swing states act as a “faithless elector” in December, this could considerably change the game for Donald Trump.
The New York Post reports that in 2004, a faithless elector went rogue in Minnesota and voted for John Edwards instead of John Kerry. The popular vote in the state sends their electors to the electoral college in December, who then vote on who they think should be president. The general rule is that the electors vote for who the state voted for, and in many states, they are legally required to do so.
The New York Post says that the Founding Fathers created this system because they were “afraid of direct democracy.” Alexander Hamilton reportedly thought that the electors would be able to correct mistakes of the voters and to ensure that “[t]he office of the president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”
The New York Post says that there is a high dissatisfaction with Donald Trump among the GOP, not just Democrats, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that we could see more faithless electors next month than ever before.
Donald Trump himself has never been a fan of the electoral college. When he thought Mitt Romney won the popular vote in 2012 but did not win the election, he called the electoral college “phony” and a “disaster” and called on America to protest the results.
Donald Trump may not like the electoral college much either after December if the unprecedented happens and the electoral college overthrows the final electoral count from election night. The names of the electors are often big names.
The state of New York is sending some big names to the electoral college next month, reports CBS News. Because Hillary Clinton won New York, the electors from New York that will attend will be Democrat, and include, former President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Also going from New York will be Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been investigating Donald Trump for fraud and racketeering, where thousands of victims allegedly lost millions from Trump University. The Inquisitr previously reported on Trump University and how the lawsuits in progress on that matter could be considered impeachable offenses for Donald Trump.
Texas is a state that Donald Trump won, and so Texas will be sending GOP electors. However, that may not necessarily be a lock for Donald Trump if Texas electors become “faithless electors.” One Texas elector has already been very vocal about not voting for Donald Trump if he won on election night, reports Politico.
Chris Suprun is a first responder from Texas who traveled to the Pentagon in the wake of 9/11.
He told Politico that he isn’t ruling out a vote to Hillary Clinton come December, saying, “I’m not a professional politician. I’ve got no training on this one. The nominee is saying things that in an otherwise typical election year would have you disqualified.”
Suprun is reportedly referring to a time when Donald Trump said, “The generals are going to commit war crimes because I tell them to.”
Suprun had this interview with Politico long before the Trump tapes came out. He said that he originally ran for the position of elector intending to support his party’s nominee. But he says the process has become “check-the-box,” and he takes his electoral role very seriously. His own Congressional District, Texas’ 30th, supports Hillary Clinton, and he says that could be a factor in his final decision when it comes time to vote on December 19.
Suprun told Politico that when the Founding Fathers created the electoral college, it was the duty of the electors in the college to “take a look at all the facts, figure it out, and make the right call.”
He also said, “I would never say never to anything.”
There is currently a petition going around calling on the electors in the electoral college to change the course of the outcome that occurred this week in the 2016 electoral map on Election Day. The petition is a call to the White House to take a position with the electoral college well and relies on statements made by the Founders on why the electoral college was formed to begin with.
The petition reads, “Because the Founders were aware of the inherent vice of tyranny in direct Democracy, they devised the so-called Electoral College to wrest the republic back from “mischief of faction.”
The petition further reads that a “mischief of faction” as defined by James Madison as follows.
“A number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”
The petition continues, “It is thusly incumbent on the present electors to remedy this existential imperilment to the Republic, moreover the planet, by choosing to elect Hillary R. Clinton to the Office of the President of the United States.”
The petition is asking the White House to take a position on the matter with the electoral college. Right now, 67,839 signatures are needed for the White House to respond, and 32,121 signatures have already been collected at the time of press. Anyone in the world with an email address can sign the petition.
Whether the electoral college will go rogue with a faithless elector, or a group of faithless electors, remains to be seen. Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote in all of the United States combined, and she might have this in her favor for the electors that are mulling over the decision of whether or not to become a faithless elector. Meanwhile, the tension surrounding the popular vote and the electoral college is mounting in the public.
CBS News reports that in 2013, before this election campaign even started, 63 percent of voters said in a Gallup Poll that they wanted to get rid of the electoral college system altogether, just like Donald Trump wanted to in 2012. Congress has reportedly already even heard many proposals on the matter, and none of them have passed.
However, for those wanting to turf the electoral college system, hope is not lost, as the fight is now happening at the state level and is “slowly spreading across the United States,” reports CBS News. The legislation that is currently working its way across the country currently has a total of 165 votes, and if enough states pass the legislation to reach 270 electoral college votes, the plan to turf the electoral college could theoretically happen.
Eradicating the electoral college completely or even implementing electoral college reform will not happen before December or even Inauguration Day. But that doesn’t mean Hillary Clinton is out of the woods for the White House. Her chances are slim, but the potential is certainly there.
The final tally of the electoral college map for 2016 will have 232 Democrats going to the electoral college to vote on December 19. On the other hand, 306 Republicans will go to the electoral college. That means that 38 faithless electors in the GOP field would be needed in order to change the election results from this week and put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
It will be up to the electors to decide if the popular vote overall should speak louder for democracy than the popular votes in the states. Widespread protest and a petition with a response from the White House could be just what puts Hillary Clinton in the White House, and it would all be legal.
It is a long shot, and it would be an unprecedented move in United States politics if Trump was ousted by the electoral college after the November vote by the people. However, his chances of winning were a long shot as well, and anything can still happen in a very short time-frame when it comes to this most historical and unprecedented election campaign.
Protestors who are working the #NotMyPresident trend are hoping to keep the protests alive until December 19 when the electoral college vote occurs, hoping that may help get Hillary Clinton in the White House. But the electoral college is not Donald Trump’s only problem.
The word “impeached” could be. With the growing number of Google searches on the topic with an over 4,000 percent increase, it’s clear the public is definitely thinking about it. How would you feel about democracy if your elector became a faithless elector and voted with the national popular vote over the state popular vote next month?
The White House petition mentioned in this article has been removed from the White House website. A Change.Org petition however has been created, ultimately asking the electoral college to do the same thing that the White House petition was seeking. The petition reads: “We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why? Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying… and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic. Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.” Anyone in the world can sign the Electoral College Petition.
[Featured Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]