Is the petition to get the electoral college to vote for Clinton legitimate?

Austin Fleskes

In the wake of the election, a change.org petition has been created in an attempt to get electors from the Electoral college to switch their votes.

The petition was created by change.org user Daniel Brezenoff, a little under a week after Trump was announced as the 45th of the United States President. In a few days the petition had gained over 2 million signatures nationwide and is still growing.

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On December 19, the electors from the Electoral College will be able to submit their ballots, and officially decide the President and Vice President of the U.S.

Brezenoff is asking the electors form the electoral college, if their state voted Trump, to send in their ballots voting for Hillary Clinton instead, ensuring her the presidency instead of current elect Trump

“Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic,” Brezenoff said in a statement presented with the petition.

After the petition began to gain speed, there were a number of people voicing their opinions about the idea being unconstitutional. However, if it was successful there would be nothing unconstitutional.

There is no law in the U.S. constitution that says that an elector cannot vote in opposition to the rest of the state. Although, in 1952 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that states could require electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote of their state, and a fair share of the states have taken this law into effect. Some even put in $5,000-10,000 fines to those electors that deviate.

However, even if there is a fine in place, electoral voters are still legally allowed to place their vote in whomever they want. This is what Brezenoff is hoping will happen with his petition; to get enough attention to get the electoral college voters to change their decision.

Although it hasn’t happened much in the past. Only 151 electoral voters have ever voted against the state, 71 of which because the state candidate died.

However, since its creation the petition has started to lose speed. Earlier this week the petition had 4.3 million, and since then has not risen substantially. As of Thursday Nov. 17, the petition has only gained another 100,000 signatures.

While the signatures have decreased recently, the petition has still circulated around campus, whether it was signed by students or not.

Brandon Streeter, a sophomore accounting major, heard about the petition but didn’t sign it.

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“As part of a peaceful transfer of power, Trump is now our president and we just have to move forward,” Streeter said. “This is not how this works. The electoral college is broken but it gives a voice to small states who wouldn’t have a voice otherwise.”

On the opposite side is Sabrina Eccher, a senior zoology major who signed the petition.

“I got the general idea that [Trump] is racist and and sexist and not right for the presidency,” Eccher said.

After looking at how the petition has been going, writers at Fact Check and USA Today are speculating that while the idea is possible, it more than likely won’t happen.

Collegian reporter Austin Fleskes can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MrPacMan80