A Change.org petition, now signed by more than 4.3 million people, encourages members of the Electoral College to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton when the college meets on Dec. 19. The petition argues that Donald Trump is “unfit to serve” and that “Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.”
“If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win,” the petition states. “However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine – which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay! We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton.”
A number of our readers reached out to us by phone and email and asked if it was true that members of the Electoral College are not bound to vote for the candidate who won a majority of votes in their state, and specifically whether the Electoral College could actually give the presidency to Clinton over Trump.
Let’s back up a bit and explain how the Electoral College works, and why — an issue we addressed in 2008 in an article that has gotten a lot of views recently.