In light of Tuesday’s presidential results in which Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but lost in the electoral vote (also occurred as recently as 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote to George W. Bush), many have recommended to do away with the electoral college. There are other post-election tacticians who are reminding us that the electors do not officially cast their vote until “the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December” (Dec. 19, 2016).
A friend posted a plea on Facebook stating there is still time to persuade electors to vote for Hillary Clinton, especially in swing states where Donald Trump won by a slim margin. Here is a link to a petition urging electors to cast their ballot for the Democratic candidate in the states where Trump barely edged out Clinton. The petition, started by the Change.org community, requires three million signatures. There are well over two million votes (greater than 70% of the signatures required) with about five weeks to go (as of November 11th) before the electors cast their vote.
Here is a form with a listing of states and the electoral college, including states that are electorally bind to the popular winner, states that are not bind, swing states, and the intersection of non-bind plus swing states. For example, an elector in Washington state will not cast his vote for Hillary Clinton on December 19th. WA is a bind state; however, there is no constitutional law or provision prohibiting the electoral college voter from casting a “faithless vote”. This person is willing to pay the fine of $1,000 rather than vote in line with the majority of his state.
21 states are electorally non-bind to the popular vote with 236 electoral votes. However, electors in other states can cast a different vote and face a penalty. The 11 swing states make up 146 EV. There are three swing states that are non-bind with 30 EV: Pennsylvania (20), Iowa (6), and New Hampshire (4). The other eight swing states require electors to cast their vote in line with the winner in that state. Clinton currently has 228 electoral votes; the magic number is 271 (270 plus the difference to make up for the renegade elector in WA), or 43 more EV. Three swing states were very close in the popular vote, leaning slightly towards Trump with a total of 59 EV: FL (29), PA (20) and WI (10). PA is not bind; FL and WI discourage ‘faithless electors’. However, it is not illegal to do so.
For those who feel strongly that Hillary Clinton should have been elected as the next U.S. president, or for those who feel Donald Trump is severely unfit to serve as POTUS, do your part to make the change now and help lay the groundwork for a progressive agenda leading into the mid-terms election in 2018 and the next presidential election in 2020. And help maintain the legacy of President Barack Obama, including the Affordable Care Act.