The rogue electors' long game

A group of so-called “Hamilton Electors” — nine Democrats and one Republican who borrowed his name in a nod toward his call for deliberation — has been working to convince at least 36 other Republicans to ditch Trump, just enough to block his immediate election and send the contest to the House of Representatives. To accomplish that, the Democrats involved have signaled they might reject their own statewide popular vote winner, Hillary Clinton, in favor of a consensus GOP alternative to Trump.

Even if they convince no new electors to join them, their efforts would represent an unprecedented defection, effectively nullifying the votes of millions of people in those states.

That fact alone could spark demands for change, say some opponents of the Electoral College.

“There’s an element in the Electoral College which nobody could possibly justify these days — and that is the discretion of electors,” said George Edwards III, a Constitutional expert at Texas A&M University.

“The irony is that electors exercising discretion is exactly what the Constitution and the framers envisioned,” he said. “But it raises some really serious questions about the modern notion of democracy.”