Desperate Democrats would subvert the Constitution to deny Trump the Oval Office

So is all the recent squawking about the strange system which has elected every president in the history of the republic just the last, best hope of Never-Trumpism? Pretty much. Kerr told Reason via email that he believes Lessig is arguing in good faith, and recalled that Lessig had raised concerns about the electoral college well before the election. Yet “are some people acting out of expedience rather than principle?” he asks. “I assume so, but I assume so for everything election-related.”

Throughout U.S. presidential history, there have been over 150 faithless electors (just nine since World War II). While 29 states and the District of Columbia have laws that punish such dissenters with fines or even jail time, not one such elector has ever been prosecuted for going his own way, including Roger MacBride in 1972, who cast the first electoral vote for a woman (Tonie Nathan was the vice-presidential candidate on the Libertarian ticket led by John Hospers). Even if an Electoral College coup were to take place, every state’s electoral votes have to be certified by that state’s secretary of state, and that person has the authority to simply disqualify the votes or refuse to certify the totals. Either way, it holds up the votes from heading to Washington and being counted by Congress, and thus holds up the lawful election of the president.

Longtime political analyst and author of The People’s Choice, a 1996 novel about faithless electors, Jeff Greenfield explained to Reason in a phone interview that despite the marked divisions within the GOP before the election, there’s zero indication that the party intends to thwart Trump now that he’s president-elect. Greenfield noted that in 2004, John Kerry would have been elected president if just 60,000 voters in Ohio had cast their ballot for him and not Bush. Yet with Bush earning 3 million more total votes nationally, Greenfield says a Kerry win in the Electoral College might have led to a bipartisan push to ditch the system.

“If you had back-to-back elections where both parties lost [despite winning the popular vote], you might have had a bigger brouhaha,” he says. But today’s GOP is happy with November’s outcome despite whatever misgivings the party might have about Trump. “Right now the way Republicans look at it is, ‘If there’s a split, we’re the beneficiaries.'”