Those who cannot accept New York businessman Donald Trump won the 2016 election are hoping Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will still win the White House. This could theoretically happen if she persuaded members of the Electoral College to become “faithless”—but it is not plausible.
Such an event has never happened in U.S. history. When voters go to the polls on Election Day, they don’t vote for the candidate. They vote for electors of the Electoral College who represent the candidates' parties. The amount of electoral votes each state gets is based on the population.
Trump, 70, garnered 290 votes under the Electoral College system, while Clinton, 69, won 228 votes.
The Electoral College will vote on Dec. 19. If one of the voters were to “go rogue” and vote for Clinton over Trump, they would be known as a “faithless elector.”
There have been a total of 157 faithless electors since the Electoral College was implemented in 1804, Fair Vote writes. The votes were changed 71 times because the candidate died before the Electoral College could vote. Three votes were not casted because the electors chose not to vote. The last 82 were changed on personal accord. A faithless elector has never affected the outcome of an election.
The last time it occurred was in 2004. A Minnesota elector has a ballot for John Edwards instead of Democratic candidate John Kerry. The vote might have been a mistake, though.
In 29 states, faithless electors could face small fines and misdemeanors for going rogue.
There’s a Change.org petition that is pleading for the Electoral College to vote for Clinton. By Monday, it garnered 4.3 million signatures. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Pink and Sia signed the petition.
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