PITTSBURGH (CBS) — After Donald Trump was proclaimed the winner of the 2016 presidential election, there have been protests sprouting up in pockets across the country.
Now, an online petition has been started asking the electoral college to, when they meet on December 19, withhold their support for Trump, something granted to them in the Constitution.
Though Clinton leads the popular vote by about 280,000 as of Thursday morning, Trump has won the minimum of 270 electoral votes necessary to be elected president. He has 290 to Clinton’s 228.
According to the Constitution, electors will meet in their respective state capitals on Dec. 19. In most cases, whoever wins the popular vote gains all of that state’s electoral votes.
The number of electoral votes per state is determined by the number of congressional districts plus one for each senator — a total of 538.
But as the New York Times points out, there is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent any of the electors from refusing to support the candidate who won their state, or from abstaining. They are dubbed a “faithless elector,” though 29 states ban the practice.
The Times says faithless electors have never affected the final result of any presidential election and there haven’t been many in modern times.
The last time was in 2004, when an anonymous elector in Minnesota cast his vote for John Edwards instead of the Democratic candidate, John Kerry.
The foundation for the petition is the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, something that Trump himself has complained about in the past.
Here’s an excerpt from the petition:
“We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?
Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. 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.”
In 2012 after Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney, Trump tweeted on the matter: “He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!” The tweet has since been deleted.
As of 6pm EST on Thursday, November 10, the petition has more than a million signatures.