The response from the President-elect Donald Trump winning the election has been extremely mixed, with many protesting in the streets. The billionaire’s win against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been nothing short of controversial, but many have noted that there’s still one way for Clinton to win.
In actuality, Clinton received 200,000 more votes from the American people than Trump did. The reason he won, however, was because he crossed the Electoral College threshold and received 279 votes.
The Electoral College is comprised of electors who vote for the president, but don’t vote on election day. Instead, they vote on December 19. Generally speaking, these people vote for the candidate who won the electoral votes. It is possible for these people to defect and vote against Trump, meaning that Clinton could still win — something known as being a faithless elector.
This is extremely rare, though. AOL reported that 99 percent of electors vote as they are bound. In fact, there was just one faithless elector in 2004 who went against John Kerry and voted for his running mate. This didn’t do enough, however, for Kerry and running mate John Edwards to win the presidency.
According to the New York Post, the founding fathers created the Electoral College because they were afraid of “direct democracy.” Alexander Hamilton was quoted as saying that the electors wold ensure that “the office of president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”
Despite the rarity of faithless electors turning against the winner, there is nothing legally that can stop it from happening. If enough electors decide to switch from Trump to Clinton, she could still win.
Sources: New York Post, AOL / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr