Democrats are still plotting to deny Donald Trump the Presidency.
Even though he won 306 Electoral College votes in the November 8th election, many refuse to give up on stopping him from taking the oath of office.
And the final scheme hinges on undermining a central tenant of American democracy.
While Trump won an Electoral College majority, he won’t officially have won until the electors selected by the states meet in December and cast their ballots.
And Democratic electors are searching for 37 Republicans to change their vote so the election will be thrown to the House of Representatives, as well as planning lawsuits to challenge state laws binding electors to the results of their state.
“Behind the overt anti-Trump push is a covert agenda: If the courts establish that individual electors can switch allegiances, supporting candidates other than those who win their states, it would inject so much uncertainty into the process that states may be willing to junk the Electoral College in favor of a popular-vote winner.
“There might well be a clamor to get rid of the Electoral College altogether, a move that would have some disadvantages (like eliminating Hamilton’s safeguard) but many advantages as well,” wrote Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, in an email. “Anyhow, clamor and anger have become par for the course in this loony election year.”
Leaders of the effort, mainly Democrats, have plans to challenge laws in the 29 states that force electors to support their party’s candidate. Those laws have never been tested, leaving some constitutional experts to argue they’re in conflict with the founders’ intention to establish a body that can evaluate the fitness of candidates for office and vote accordingly.
Several sources involved with the legal planning also confirmed that they’re preparing to roll out a coalition of lawyers prepared to defend, pro bono, any electors who vote in opposition to their party’s candidate on Dec. 19, when the Electoral College meets to cast the official vote for president.
Those efforts are parallel to a drive by at least eight Democratic electors in Colorado and Washington state who are lobbying their GOP counterparts to reject their oaths — and in some cases, state law — to oppose Trump when it comes time to cast their votes.”
Democrats aren’t just trying to persuade electors to switch their votes.
Michael Banerian, the youth vice-chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, who is also one of Michigan’s 16 electors, reported he has received death threats to force him to change his vote to Hillary Clinton or some other non-Trump candidate.
“Obviously, this election cycle was pretty divisive. Unfortunately it’s bled over into the weeks following the election and I have been inundated with death threats, death wishes, generally angry messages trying to get me to change my vote to Hillary Clinton or another person, and unfortunately, it’s gotten a little out of control.” Banerian said.
Banerian said he has been threatened with violence.
“I’ve had people talk about putting a bullet in the back of my mouth. I’ve had death wishes or people just saying ‘I hope you die.’ Or, ‘do society a favor, throw yourself in front of a bus,'” he said.”
Critics argue that because Obama and Hillary have not spoken out against these efforts, they are either subtly encouraging them or outright backing these efforts to subvert the Electoral College.
They could put a stop to the death threats and plots meant to tear asunder the foundation of American democracy, but they have yet to do so.
This leads many critics to argue they do not respect the election results and are trying to delegitimize Trump and his victory.