Is it still possible for the electorate to choose Hillary Clinton as the US president instead of Donald Trump? An online petition on Change.org think so.
A petition initiated by Elijah Berg from North Carolina has asked the electoral college to make Democrat Hillary Clinton the US president on December 19, the day the president is legally elected, based on her scoring the popular vote.
The online petition has been signed by over 3.8 million people, and asks electors to ignore their states’ vote and choose Hillary instead of Donald Trump: The president-elect.
“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,” the petition reads.
The petition states that the former secretary of state and first lady lost the election to the Republican due to the electoral college, although popular votes were in her favour.
“Hillary won the popular vote. The only reason Trump ‘won’ is because of the electoral college... But the electoral college can actually give the White House to either candidate. So why not use this most undemocratic of our institutions to ensure a democratic result?” the petition reads.
While Clinton was ahead on popular votes with 47.7% to Trump’s 47.5%, Trump’s total in the electoral college stands at 290 (against Clinton’s 228) with races in Michigan and New Hampshire yet to be called.
The November 8 election sparked protests against Trump, with thousands of demonstrators occupying streets of Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon to voice their anger at the billionaire Republican’s controversial remarks about immigration, Muslims, and women.
If Clinton had won the election, she would have been the first woman president of the United States of America.
How the US polling system works
The president is selected by a “college” of 538 electors from the states. Each state gets as many electoral votes as it has members of Congress, and the District of Columbia gets three. To be elected president, the winner must get at least half the total plus one — or 270 electoral votes.
Most states usually give all their electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the state’s popular vote.
Has this happened before?
There have been four instances so far in which a president was elected despite not winning the popular vote. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore narrowly won the popular vote but lost to Republican George W Bush in the electoral college with a difference of 5 votes (271-266).
Two other Republicans -- Benjamin Harrison and Rutherford B Hayes -- had claimed victory on similar grounds while the sixth US president, John Quincy Adams, was chosen by the House of Representatives after his rival Andrew Jackson garnered more electoral and popular votes but did not reach the 270 mark.
(With input from agencies)