If they carry out their intentions — in effect, becoming “faithless electors” — they would narrow Donald Trump’s margin-of-victory in the Electoral College over Hillary Clinton.
One elector, Michael Baca said in a statement that he wouldn’t vote for Trump.
“The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College as the last line of defense, and I think we must do all that we can to ensure that we have a Reasonable Republican candidate who shares our American values,” he said.
Added elector Bret Chiafalo, who along with Baca is part of a small group called Hamilton Electors, “All we’re trying to do is honor what the Founding Fathers gave us.”
Some electors told Politico that they were attempting to persuade some of their Republican colleagues in the body to vote for someone other than Trump, but they would need at least 15 additional electors (and likely many more) to sway the race.
As it currently stands, Donald Trump has won 290 electoral votes, while Clinton has won 232. The results in Michigan, which has 16 electoral votes, remain too close to call.
If Trump fails to win Michigan — an unlikely outcome, as he leads Clinton by more than 11,000 votes — Clinton would still need at least 22 electors to disregard their states’ popular vote and pick her over Trump.
Alternatively, Trump could be prevented from winning the Electoral College if he — in addition to losing Michigan — saw at least 21 electors abstain from voting altogether.
That outcome would leave Trump with 269 electoral votes, which would then result in the House of Representative determining the election.
“If it gets into the House, the controversy and the uncertainty that would immediately blow up into a political firestorm in the U.S. would cause enough people — my hope is — to look at the whole concept of the Electoral College,” one unnamed elector told Politico.
To win the election, a candidate must secure 270 electoral votes.
The Electoral College comprises 538 electors from the 50 states. The number of electors is determined by the number of senators and representatives for each state. Members will meet on Dec. 19 in their respective states to vote for President.
It is extraordinarily rare for an elector to not obey the will of the voters from her or her state. Throughout U.S. history, the highest number of faithless electors occurred in 1808, when six declined to vote for James Madison.