The U.S. Electoral College is expected to officially confirm Donald Trump as the next President of the United States on Monday.
Electoral College System
The election of Donald Trump will be formalized when 538 electors cast their ballots in every state. In each state, voters elects a body of electors who are supposed to confirm their vote. Electors have never produced any surprises and the process is expected to be a mere formality, verifying the November 8 result.
Trump won 306 electors and 30 states, needing 270 to secure election. The mass defection of electors does not have a precedent.
However, as the CIA reports that Russia intervened to favour President-elect Trump, there is a last minute campaign asking electors not to vote for Trump, defying the popular vote. The Trump campaign dismisses the claim that Russian state-backed hackers had a bearing on Trump’s victory. But Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, said that the question of whether the Trump campaign cooperated with Russia is still open.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Republican Senator John McCain calls for a select committee that is “time-limited, cross-jurisdictional, and purpose-driven” to address the allegations and confirmed he is worried that Donald Trump has never been heard being critical of Russia.
“Wisdom” or “failure” of the founding fathers?
At this point, there are two ways of looking at the Electoral College system.
First, there are those who are looking at the election of Donald Trump as a failure of the electoral system. Since the election, the system of the Electoral College has come under criticism since Hillary Clinton has in fact won the popular vote but secured fewer electors. A CBS poll suggests 54% of Americans want their President to be directly elected.
Secondly, there are those why see in this specific electoral system an opportunity to prevent Trump’s election that is in line with the spirit of the Constitution. There is still a campaign to prevent Trump from being formally confirmed, trying to dissuade electors to go rogue. Among them, there are electors who believe their role in the Constitution is to ensure that a demagogue does not come to power. Apparently, some electors are considering a rogue vote, with one of them coming out openly.
29 out of 50 states have laws binding electors to vote in line with the electorate. But, if they don’t, they either pay a small fine or nothing happens. But, what is theoretically possible is not likely.