#Dec19 Protests Target Electoral College to Block Trump

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#Dec19 Protests Target Electoral College to Block Trump

"We're supporting these historic protests to urge electors to respect the will of the people."

Protesters nationwide are calling on the members of the Electoral College to "vote their conscience" and not cast ballots Monday for Donald Trump. (Photo: waltarrrrr/flickr/cc)

Protesters are expected at state capitols across the country on Monday where the 538 members of the Electoral College are gathering to ultimately decide who will take up residence at the White House.

The organizers' website describes this as "the day to defend democracy," and urges "the Electors of the Electoral College to listen to the voice of the people and refuse to cast their ballots for Donald Trump."

"We're supporting these historic protests to urge electors to respect the will of the people," stated Adam Green, Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) co-founder.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes—about 2.1 percentage points. But Trump beat her in electoral votes: 306 to 232. With that in mind, the #Dec19 actions are trying to harness the normally "obscure quirk of the U.S. political system" as a last-ditch effort block the real estate mogul from becoming commander-in-chief.

A letter from the PCCC to its members also said the nationwide protests would be useful in "helping to blunt [Trump's] claim of a 'mandate' and harden the spine of Democrats to fight."

Apart from Clinton's popular vote win, protestors say the allegations of Russian interference in the election and the lack of full protection of the Voting Rights Act should provide electors with the reason they need to exercise their ability vote for Clinton, even if that means going against "faithless," or against their state's own vote.

Added Tania Maduro, Democracy Spring organizer: "All Presidential electors have a Constitutional right to vote their conscience and the responsibility to follow the will of people by voting for the winner of the national popular vote."

A Change.org petition to the all electors calling on them "to support the national popular vote winner" has also gathered over 4.9 million signatures so far.

Warning that ballots cast for Trump would "put our nation in danger," filmmaker Michael Moore has made a plea to Republican members of the Electoral College, asking that they "let history record your moment of true courage and patriotism."

In the post on his Facebook page, he writes that if they are in the five states that would target such "faithlessness" with it a fine, he'll pay it:

But some states have made it "illegal" for you to vote any other way than for Trump. If you don't vote for him, your state will fine you $1,000. So here's my offer to you: I obviously can't and won't give you money to vote tomorrow, but if you do vote your conscience and you are punished for it, I will personally step up pay your fine which is my legal right to do.

Trump needs 270 electoral votes to secure his win, which he'll get "unless there is a massive—and totally unexpected—defection by the electors who are pledged to support him," as NPR writes. So far, just one Republican elector, Christopher Suprun, has publicly said he won't be casting his ballot for Trump. Thirty-seven more would be needed to block him.

Still, Trump would go down in history books as "the worst-performing winner in the popular vote since 1876," as CNN writes.

The official tally of the votes will occur on Jan. 6, 2017 during a joint session of Congress, but the Atlanta Journal Constitution is providing live updates on Monday's counts as they happen.

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