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Hillary Clinton won the popular vote this election but lost the electoral college votes.
In addition to the protests in many cities across the United States, some Clinton supporters are asking the Electoral College to step in and vote Clinton into the presidency. A Change.org petition with more than 2 million signatures is “calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton.”
The petition says Donald Trump is “unfit to serve” and “a danger to the Republic” and repeatedly points out that Clinton won the popular vote.
“The only reason Trump ‘won’ is because of the Electoral College. But the Electoral College can actually give the White House to either candidate,” reads the petition, written by Elijah Berg from North Carolina. “So why not use this most undemocratic of our institutions to ensure a democratic result?”
Electors who break their pledge are called “faithless electors.” In 26 states and Washington, D.C., electors are required to vote with the popular vote in their state. However, there’s no federal law requiring this and electors can choose to change their vote and pay a fine. This is very rare and the chance of faithless electors changing who becomes president this election is highly unlikely.
Before the election, four electors had expressed interest in becoming faithless electors. Two were Democratic electors who had initially supported Sanders and said they would not cast their votes for Clinton, and two were Republicans against Donald Trump. One of the anti-Trump electors has already said he intends to support the president-elect.
In addition to Change.org, MoveOn and GoPetition petitions have called on the Electoral College to match the national popular vote. Ironically, Trump himself once called the Electoral College “a disaster for democracy.”
President Obama and Secretary Clinton have both expressed their support of the results and spoken about the need for a peaceful transfer of power.
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