Although the initial shockwaves of the electoral result begin to die down millions of Americans still aren't ready to accept the results. Although Clinton won the popular vote by more than 1.5 million, #Donald Trump still took home victory by winning the required electoral votes for the presidency.
How the electoral college works
To win the electoral college, a candidate needs to receive 270 votes. The candidate with the most votes in each state will take home the number of electoral votes that state is awarded, however, these votes aren't the official and final result of the election. In December, the electors from each state cast their ballots for their state's selected candidate.
The reason the electoral college was implemented was because the framers believed an election based purely on the popular vote would give too much power to highly populated areas. If a candidate only needed the popular vote, they would concentrate their campaign in big cities like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago and disregard those in rural areas.
Reminiscent of the 2000 election when Bush won the electoral college but lost the popular vote, Clinton is actually the fourth candidate to win the popular vote but still lose the White House.
Elector Laws And Facts
The electors are chosen by party officials, but they are not required by the Constitution to vote for a particular candidate, though laws vary by state. There are 29 states who bind their electors, however, the penalties for "faithless electors" vary from fines to misdemeanors.
This wouldn't be the first time an elector voted against their state's desired candidate, but the result has never changed the outcome of an election. According to FairVote, "Since the founding of the Electoral College, there have been 157 faithless electors. 71 of these votes were changed because the original candidate died before the day on which the Electoral College cast its votes. Three of the votes were not cast at all as three electors chose to abstain from casting their electoral vote for any candidate. The other 82 electoral votes were changed on the personal initiative of the elector."
Despite some harsher penalties in certain states, an elector has never been penalized more than a $1,000 fine.
Will the petition make a difference?
Petition founder Daniel Brezenoff states, "Never in our Republic's 240 years has our President had no previous experience in an office of public trust, be it elected or appointed, civilian or military. Never has a President admitted to sexual assaults. Never has a President encouraged violence at campaign events." He also mentions, "There is no reason electors cannot vote with their conscience. They are not taking away the majority vote, and are not violating the Constitution."
Although the petition has gained more traction than initially expected, the chances that it will change the outcome are still pretty bleak. With Trump winning 290 electoral votes to Clinton's 232, Michigan still undecided, it makes it harder to change the outcome since so many electors would have to deflect or abstain from the ballot entirely.
If Trump were to win Michigan, he would be the first candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988 to win an election with more than 300 electoral votes. In the most divisive election in US history, millions of Americans will be holding their breath for the final results next month. #politics #Hillary Clinton