Elec­toral Col­lege meets to con­firm Trump win

‘The let­ters are ac­tu­ally quite sad’

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

And you thought Elec­tion Day was in Novem­ber. Elec­tors are set to gather in every state to for­mally elect Don­ald Trump pres­i­dent even as an­tiTrump forces try one last time to deny him the White House. Protests are planned for state capitals, but they are un­likely to per­suade the Elec­toral Col­lege to dump Trump. An As­so­ci­ated Press sur­vey of elec­tors found very lit­tle ap­petite to vote for al­ter­na­tive can­di­dates. Repub­li­can elec­tors say they have been del­uged with emails, phone calls and let­ters urg­ing them not to sup­port Trump. Many of the emails are part of co­or­di­nated cam­paigns.

“The let­ters are ac­tu­ally quite sad,” said Lee Green, a Repub­li­can elec­tor from North Carolina. “They are gen­er­ally freaked out. They hon­estly be­lieve the pro­pa­ganda. They be­lieve our na­tion is be­ing taken over by a dark and malev­o­lent force.” Wirt A Yerger Jr, a Repub­li­can elec­tor in Mis­sis­sippi, said, “I have got­ten sev­eral thou­sand emails ask­ing me not to vote for Trump. I threw them all away.”

A joint ses­sion of Congress is sched­uled for Jan 6 to cer­tify the re­sults of the Elec­toral Col­lege vote, with Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den pre­sid­ing as pres­i­dent of the Se­nate. Once the re­sult is cer­ti­fied, the win­ner - likely Trump - will be sworn in on Jan 20. The Elec­toral Col­lege was de­vised at the Con­sti­tu­tional Con­ven­tion in 1787. It was a com­pro­mise be­tween those who wanted pop­u­lar elec­tions for pres­i­dent and those who wanted no public in­put.

The Elec­toral Col­lege has 538 mem­bers, with the num­ber al­lo­cated to each state based on how many rep­re­sen­ta­tives it has in the House plus one for each se­na­tor. The Dis­trict of Columbia gets three, de­spite the fact that the home to Congress has no vote in Congress. To be elected pres­i­dent, the win­ner must get at least half plus one - or 270 elec­toral votes. Most states give all their elec­toral votes to which­ever can­di­date wins that state’s pop­u­lar vote. Maine and Ne­braska award them by con­gres­sional dis­trict. The AP tried to reach all of the elec­tors and in­ter­viewed more than 330 of them, find­ing wide­spread ag­gra­va­tion among Democrats with the elec­toral process, but lit­tle ex­pec­ta­tion Trump would be de­railed.

Demo­crat­i­cally un­demo­cratic

Some Democrats have ar­gued that the Elec­toral Col­lege is un­demo­cratic be­cause it gives more weight to less pop­u­lated states. That is how Hil­lary Clin­ton, who got more than 2.6 mil­lion more votes na­tion­wide, lost the elec­tion to Trump. Some have also tried to dis­suade Trump vot­ers by ar­gu­ing that he is un­suited to the job. Oth­ers cite the CIA’s as­sess­ment that Rus­sia en­gaged in com­puter hack­ing to sway the elec­tion in fa­vor of the Repub­li­can. But de­spite the na­tional group ther­apy ses­sion be­ing con­ducted by some Democrats, only one Repub­li­can elec­tor told the AP that he will not vote for Trump.

There is no con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion or fed­eral law that re­quires elec­tors to vote for the can­di­date who won their state. Some states re­quire their elec­tors to vote for the win­ning can­di­date, either by law or through signed pledges. But no elec­tor has ever been pros­e­cuted for fail­ing to vote as pledged, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Archives.

Those laws are rarely tested. More than 99 per­cent of elec­tors through U.S. his­tory have voted for the can­di­date who won their state. Elec­tors are se­lected by state par­ties, and so are of­ten in­sid­ers who can be trusted to vote for the party’s can­di­date. Many Repub­li­can elec­tors said they feel duty-bound to honor their pledge to vote for the can­di­date who won their state, re­gard­less of how they feel about Trump.

Still, some anti-Trump ac­tivists have been get­ting cre­ative in try­ing to per­suade elec­tors to dump Trump. In ad­di­tion to thou­sands of emails, Repub­li­can elec­tor Char­lie Buck­els of Louisiana said he re­ceived a FedEx pack­age with a 50-page doc­u­ment that the sender said “had ab­so­lute proof that the Rus­sians hacked the elec­tions.” “From the tenor of these emails, you would think these peo­ple are curled up in a cor­ner in a fe­tal po­si­tion with a thumb in their mouth,” Buck­els said. — AP

PASADENA: Rex Teter, a mem­ber of the Elec­toral Col­lege, holds two days of de­liv­ered mail at his home. — AP

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