A “faithless elector” campaign has been announced within the Electoral College, with seven electors announcing they will not be voting for Trump.

Who is going against the state-promised votes?

Five hundred and thirty-eight members of the Electoral College will come together to formally vote for the President of the United States on December 19, 2016. While these electors are normally pledged to vote for whomever their respective state voted for in the actual election, many have claimed that they may not be voting for Donald Trump.

Bret Chiafolo, of Washington, and Michael Baca, of Colorado, both of whom are Democrats have said that they would launch a campaign to convince electors to switch their votes.

Reportedly, they have even campaigned to suggest conservative voters to change their ballot to another Republican candidate, such as Mitt Romney, John Kasich, or Colin Powell. In a released statement, Baca explained that their objective was to go against Donald Trump specifically.

Presumably, they are targeting conservative voters, as they’d have nothing to gain from voters whose states already voted against Trump. That said, it would appear that most of the campaign’s supporters are from states that already voted Democrat in the November election.

The campaign gained momentum when nineteen-year-old, Levi Guerra, had said in a released statement that she would be the seventh elector to give her support, also saying in a released statement that she would try to “keep Donald Trump out of office.” Added to this campaign, Republican Art Sisneros of Texas has also said that he would resign his position rather than vote for Trump.

Historically, these types of electors have been given the term “faithless electors.” Such actions have occurred in American history since 1796, when Samuel Miles of Pennsylvania went against his promise to vote for John Adams, and placed his vote for Thomas Jefferson. Baca and Chiafolo have said in a released statement, however, that they prefer the terms “moral electors” or “Hamilton electors,” the latter likely a pop-culture reference to the Hamilton musical.

Is there a chance that they could change the election?

Realistically, unless 38 electors change their vote from Trump to Hillary Clinton, if Trump had presumably won their respective state, it is very unlikely that the action will actually change the outcome of this election.

As of this writing, no election ever had its final decision reversed after electors switched against their state’s final electoral vote.

In 1836, however the Electoral College did come close to such an action when 23 electors from Virginia refused to support Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky, undoing the needed majority for Johnson to win the Electoral College. However, the decision was ultimately given to the Senate, who ended up installing Johnson as president.

Added to that, 29 states legally bind their electors to vote for the candidate that won the state in the actual election, and these "faithless electors" could risk fines and misdemeanors if they go against this vote.

If anything, these “faithless electors” would likely only be acting out of a symbolic gesture if they go through with this plan.

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