How To Protest The Electoral College On Dec. 19

Since the Nov. 8 election and the shocking election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency, protesting has become one of the best coping mechanisms for the millions of Americans who vehemently opposed his candidacy. The last hope for those who are still dreaming of a way to avoid four years of a Trump administration comes on Dec. 19, when the Electoral College meets to cast their votes and confirm who will be the next president. You can protest the Electoral College vote on Dec. 19 at each state capital, because America cannot give in to this demagogue without a fight.

If you do go out to protest the Electoral College, just remember not to get your hopes up too much. Realistically, it's incredibly unlikely that enough electors are going to swing their votes to put someone else in office. The incidence of faithless electors over the years is very small, and Trump's margin of victory in the Electoral College was relatively very big.

There are also about 20 states, many of which voted for Trump, that have laws against electors changing their vote away from whichever candidate won the popular vote in their state. Swinging the vote to elect someone else president would be the political equivalent of hitting a grand slam in extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series, and even the Cubbies didn't make that happen this year.

Of course, that doesn't mean your protest will be useless. In light of this election, it seems clear that the Electoral College now reflects an imbalance of power that needs to be corrected. The deep partisanship that has gripped the country and allowed Trump to win the electoral vote in the first place is also preventing it from its intended purpose, which is to be a stopgap for demagogues like Trump who threaten the fabric of American democracy. If, miraculously, the Electoral College does not elect Trump, only then will it have truly done its job. Otherwise, you should be at your state capital protesting if you can, to let the country know that this system has stopped being for the people.

Whatever happens on Dec. 19 is likely to affect people for generations to come, and extremely negatively so in the case of minorities, women, LGBTQ people, and undocumented immigrants. No one with the ability to protest should let that happen without doing something about it, so head to your state capital when the electors meet to make your voice heard.