Petition asks electors to make Clinton the US president instead of Trump

A petition has asked the Electoral College to make Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton the US president on December 19 instead of Donald Trump.

us presidential election Updated: Nov 13, 2016 18:52 IST
Prerna Madan
Prerna Madan
Hindustan Times
US election,Hillary Clinton,US electoral college
Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband and former US president Bill Clinton (left), and running mate Senator Tim Kaine, addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the US election at a hotel in New York.(Reuters Photo)

Is it still possible for the electorate to choose Hillary Clinton as the US president instead of Donald Trump? An online petition on 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.

Read | These have been very very tough days: Hillary Clinton on poll loss

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.

Protesters march in reaction to the upset election of Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race for president of the United States in Los Angeles, California. (AFP Photo)

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.

Read | Understanding the US presidential election: A guide to the process

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.

Thousands of protesters march against Donald Trump in Los Angeles, California. (AFP Photo)

Read | The 45th US President: Retracing Trump’s path to the White House

(With input from agencies)

First Published: Nov 13, 2016 18:47 IST