Although Trump won over the 270 necessary electoral votes to secure the Presidency, Clinton narrowly earned the nation’s popular vote.
The Electoral College – which was first introduced in 1804 – is comprised of 538 electors. Each state’s number of electors is decided by its number of members in Congress, which is dependent on the state’s population. So, when American citizens cast their ballots, they aren’t directly voting for president – they’re voting for electors. This year, Trump took 279, to Clinton’s 228.
Most states use a “winner-take-all” system when it comes to electoral votes, although there is no Constitutional provision or federal law that requires electors to vote a certain way. Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C., do, however, “bind” their electors to vote for the promised candidate on Dec. 19 – in this case, Trump. In many cases, “faithless electors” are forced to pay a fine if they vote against the popular choice.
Maine and Nebraska follow a different method, called the congressional district method, which allots two electoral votes to the popular vote winner, and additional votes for each congressional district won by the candidates.
Faithless electors have not ever reversed the presidency.
The Change.org petition, which was at over 500,000 signatures on Thursday afternoon, said that Clinton supporters would be happy to pay any fees accrued by those who choose to be faithless electors.
“Mr. Trump is unfit to serve,” the petition claimed. “His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic. Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.”