Verify: Why the push to change electoral votes won't work

2 On Your Side Verify: Can electoral college results change?

SPOKANE, Wash. – Social media was still blowing up on Thursday with theories and thoughts about electors going rouge in the electoral college and overthrowing President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Here is the deal: That is highly unlikely.

Earlier in the week, another Washington state elector added herself to the list of electors trying to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. The group is encouraging Republican electors to vote for another Republican in the electoral college later this month.

KREM 2’s Alexa Block verified these claims and got an answer: the effort will not change anything.

So how did we get to this answer?

Thirty-seven. That is the number of Republican electoral votes for another Republican that are needed to reject Trump. Right now, Trump has 306 electoral vote, while his opponent, Hillary Clinton, has 232. A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to win.

According to the National Archives, historically, 99 percent of electors have stood by their party’s vote. Why is that?

Perhaps it is the fact that many electors are bound by laws or pledges to their respective parties. In Washington state, electors could face a misdemeanor and a $1,000 fine.

CBS News reports that an elector has actually never been punished, however. In the last 100 years, there have only been nine electors that changed their votes and they have not decided an election.

With that being said, if by some small chance Trump’s number of votes slips under 270, the decision would go to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives – and they would likely support the Republican president-elect.

So. In the end?

Electors changing their votes is rare and it would be nearly impossible for it to actually affect the outcome of this election.

 

(© 2016 KREM)


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