Donald Trump would hate to read this, but he's a loser. Literally. He may be the president-elect, but he lost the popular vote by historic proportions — more than any president in history. We're talking big numbers: Some 2.8 million more people were with her, and yet we're still all stuck with him. That of course is thanks to the Electoral College, our lovely constitutional invention that was originally designed to protect us from unprepared leaders. Now if only those electors who choose the next president could be swayed. Well, many of these seven faithless elector petitions are betting on just that.
Faithless electors are electors who change their vote, and in doing so they could alter the race. It's, of course, a bit of a long shot given that the electors are voting on Dec. 19 and only one Republican has openly come out against Trump. Christopher Suprun, an elector from Texas who wrote a New York Times opinion piece on why he won't vote for the president-elect, does claim that others have approached him.
But for Trump not to get a majority, there would need to be at least 37 faithless electors (those who defected). He won states with electoral votes equal to 306 and it's 270 to win. Just to be safe the RNC is also watching the GOP electors to make sure this doesn't happen by remaining in frequent contact and monitoring social media. Even so, these faithless elector petitions may still sway some votes. Maybe some more electors can be swayed to vote their conscience — let's just hope that doesn't mean a vote for Trump.
1) The Original & Largest One
This is the first and biggest petition started to influence the Electoral College. It asks the electors to support the national popular vote winner, Hillary Clinton. Nearly five million people have signed, which makes this the most successful Change.org petition ever.
2) Choose Another Republican
Another take on the matter would attempt to elect a different Republican — not Trump but a more centrist choice. That's also the take of the faithless elector Suprun and the Hamilton Electors, a group of Democrats who are trying to work with their fellow electors, Republicans, to find a third choice. This petition has just over 25,000 signatures.
3) The God Help Us Petition
This one was written just after the election, before the votes in Arizona, New Hampshire, and Michigan were certified. At the time, the Electoral College seemed to be closer and there was greater hope. But the gist is basically, "Save us from Trump." The author's not pushing for Clinton though:
Republican Electors, your party has saved us from Hillary Clinton; please have the courage now to stand up and save us from Donald Trump! Do you really want this unstable, thin-skinned man with his finger on the nuclear button!?
Basically anyone but Trump will do. Just over 8,000 have signed.
4) The Delay Tactic
Now this option is a bit more drastic. It attempts to get the electors to hold off on casting their vote until the Russian hacking of the election is fully investigated and made public. Given the timing that's already set for the vote — not to mention the upcoming inauguration — this might be a little tricky. The petition's just short of 5,000.
5) The Fans Of Trump Have One Too
Some Trump supporters aren't too happy about the petition asking electors to vote for Clinton, so they've started their own to try and keep the electors in line — by voting for Trump, of course. It has nearly 16,000 signatures.
6) Electoral College, Protect Us From Cities
This one is very similar to the one from Trump fans. They want him to be elected, in part because they like the Electoral College's effect on urban votes:
Without it, the populous dense, liberal, inner cities would decide the election every year. That's not democracy, that's a farce. Donald Trump is the president-elect and he deserves to stay that way.
Just under 3,000 have signed.
7) A Different Kind Of Faithless Elector Petition
This one is quite different from the rest. Rather than to influence them all, this petition's goal is to remove the one Republican who has said he won't vote Trump, Texas' Suprun. There are nearly 34,000 signatures.
Now if you're more forward looking about this issue, there are still more petitions you might be interested in signing. Some are to abolish the Electoral College altogether via a constitutional amendment. Others think the The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is the way to go. That's an agreement between DC and various states that would give all their electoral votes to the popular vote winner. When states worth 270 electoral votes all agree, it makes the popular vote decide it without a constitutional amendment (which would be hard to pass).
So consider these petitions, decide which to sign, and then make sure you go protest too — because activism needs to happen offline too.