The electoral college does not vote until December 19th. We have 40 days.
What does this mean?
Right now, the presidential election results are only a PROJECTION of the election outcome. They are PRELIMINARY RESULTS. A candidate still needs to earn 270 electoral votes to win. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, which means that more than 50% of the voters wanted her for president. The electoral college shouldn’t guarantee an override of the public’s opinion– and it doesn’t have to.
There are 21 states that do NOT restrict which candidate the electors vote for. Out of these 21, Hillary lost the following:
As you can see, these states are worth 166 electoral votes. As it currently stands, Hillary Clinton is projected to receive 232 votes. Trump is projected to win 306. This means that 37 votes need to be taken away from Trump to bring him down to 269. Hillary Clinton needs 38 votes ADDED to win 270. These electoral voters can also abstain, which means that they can refuse to vote for either candidate. If 37 of the voters within these states abstain then no candidate will have reached the required 270. In this case, the vote would be taken to the House.
Trump won Pennsylvania, a state that typically votes blue, by less than 100,000 votes. While it is highly unlikely to get all 20 electoral voters to cross party lines and vote democrat, it also isn’t impossible to convince a few of them to be “faithless electors.” We only need to convince 38 out of the 166. That is 23%. There are SIXTEEN states we need to focus our attention on.
A move like this would be unprecedented. However, as we all saw on November 8th, odds don’t guarantee reality. Trump had a less than 20% winning, yet given the circumstances, enough people came together and made it happen. We can make this happen.
Ask yourself this: What do we have left to lose? We can stay complacent and accept that this country will be run by a racist, sexist, islamophobic, homophobic, ablest bigot, or we can at least try.
SPREAD THE WORD. Trend #NotMyPresident to let people know that we do not accept being led by a man who does not care about our wellbeing. Email your professors, email the dean of your colleges. The last thing a university wants is negative press. Millenials can take a stand, but that doesn’t mean we have to be the only ones. Church-led events helped bring a lot of disillusioned voters to the polls. Spread the word in any way possible, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or even in person. Stage a peaceful protest. Hand out flyers. Let the people around you know that you don’t accept this man as your leader when he won’t even accept you as a citizen with your designated rights.
These 166 people need to face the consequences of electing this man.
Do this for the people who couldn’t vote. Do this for the people who live in the very real fear of being deported. Do this for the people who will have to face the rise in hate crimes. Do this for the people who have a very real possibility of losing their rights. Do this for the people who will no longer afford necessities.
There’s one other long shot: the National Popular Vote bill. Currently 11 states have signed it into law, those states having a total of 165 electoral votes. If enough further states sign that they have a combined 270 electoral votes or more, the bill would force participating states’ electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote. In other words, if enough states passed this law before December 19th, a majority of the electoral college would vote for Hillary Clinton.
This is of course incredibly unlikely, and legislation is slow at the best of times. But it’s still possible! Make some noise about this too.