More than 4.7 million people have signed an online petition against US President-elect Donald Trump, asking the Electoral College to block him from the White House and vote for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, instead. Dubbed “Electoral College: Make Hillary Clinton President,” the petition was started by social worker Daniel Brezenoff last month.
In a post on the petition’s webpage on Change.org, Breznoff called on “Conscientious Electors” to protect the US Constitution from the New York businessman. The petition argued that since Clinton has so far won the popular vote, then the 538 presidential electors need to ignore Trump’s 306-232 victory in electoral votes and elect Clinton when they reconvene on December 19.
As of Saturday, Clinton was more than 2.5 million votes ahead of Trump, a margin larger than the lead with which 10 presidents have won the general election. The petition has become the most-signed requests in the website’s history. An unprecedented following on social media has turned the petition into a nationwide movement.
“Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. As an elector you have every right to vote your conscience. My vote no longer counts. Yours does,” one signatory wrote. Most petitioners said they were not going to tolerate Trump’s divisive policies, which contributed greatly to his November 8 victory against Clinton.
This is not good news for Trump, whose presidency has been a source of division from the get-go. Thousands of Americans took to the streets of various US cities in the days following his election, calling on him to quit the job. Things turned for the worse last week, when Green Party nominee Jill Stein said she would challenge Trump’s votes in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
She has successfully won a recount in Michigan. Although her chances are next to zero to change Clinton’s vote count in Michigan, Stein can threaten Trump’s 16 votes in the state by prolonging the process to a point that Michigan misses the federal deadline of December 13 to announce the final results.
In that case, all of the state’s votes would be void, reducing Trump’s final count of electoral votes to 291. Of the Electoral College’s 538 voters, 302 are bound to vote for their state’s winner. However, 236 are unbound and can freely choose their preferred candidate. Some of the electors have openly announced their intention to keep Trump out of the White House.