'Long Shot' Effort to Dump Trump Underway

'Faithless electors' are lobbying GOPers to renege on their Electoral College pledges
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2016 1:00 PM CST
An Indiana elector hands in his ballot in 2008.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – A Change.org petition lobbying the Electoral College's electors to make Hillary Clinton president based on her winning the popular vote is indeed a long shot—but the petition has more than 4.5 million signatures, and a plan is now being floated by a handful of electors to upend Donald Trump's anticipated Electoral College win. At least six Democratic electors—whom Politico pegs as being "mostly former Bernie Sanders supporters who hail from Washington state and Colorado"—are trying to convince GOP electors not to vote for Trump when the ballots are cast on Dec. 19. It would be a near-impossible climb to pull off such a coup: They'd need at least 37 GOPers to reject him. And even if these so-called "faithless electors" succeed, the vote goes to the House, now run by the GOP.

But even if it's unlikely they pull it off, the rogues are hoping to achieve something else: take away confidence in the Electoral College and perhaps eventually dismantle it. That means they may even appeal to Democratic electors to throw away Clinton votes and team up with GOPers to award votes to someone like Mitt Romney or John Kasich. "We're trying to be that 'break in case of emergency' fire hose that's gotten dusty over the last 200 years," Washington's Bret Chaifalo tells the Atlantic. "This is an emergency." Some electors consider the effort "harassment," per USA Today, but Daniel Brezenoff, the man behind the Change.org petition, isn't giving up. "Yes, I think it's a long shot, but I also think we're living in strange times," he tells the AP. "If it was ever plausible, it's this year." (Read more electoral college stories.)

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