Electoral College Not a Pipe Dream

Ami Chen Mills-Naim
5 min readNov 19, 2016


Seven to Ten Electors have already announced their defections, or their resignation because of Trump

Can we go “bi-partisan” in support of our Democracy? Where there is light, there is hope.

As soon as I heard that the Electoral College (which votes on Dec. 19) could “go faithless” and not actually vote Donald Trump into office, I jumped into the research. I had already read and viewed enough about Donald Trump to convince me that he was a eugenicist (out of his own mouth), a white supremacist and (I firmly believe) a fan of Adolf Hitler.

How could this man be our President? … Only with foreign interference, lots of lying, and the help of out-of-control, uber-Republican and “alt-Right” (read racist) news outlets like Fox, Breitbart and all the mad and madder spin-off’s of such (Alex Jones, for example, a Sandy Hook “denier” on behalf of gun rights activists).

In reading the language from our Founding Fathers, it has brought me to tears. I have a renewed respect for the crafters of our Constitution, who tried to think through everything that could be a threat to our new Democracy.

I understand there were perhaps unsavory reasons to form the College (to include slavery states, for example, more fully in elections) and many have said the electoral college is antiquated and should be abolished. I certainly wish it had been before this election. … Nonetheless, at the time of creating the College and the Constitution, there was tremendous excitement and interest from around the world in the U.S. process, and how to design and protect a democracy that might work for most, if not all. It was a time of great thinking about government, perhaps similar to the time we face today. We dearly need that kind of deep and great thinking about our government, and our Democracy, now that it is gravely threatened.

It is in this spirit of “protecting” and promoting Democracy — in the spirit of great thinking — that I believe the College should be used now. Whether to abolish the College or not could perhaps be pursued later. In my mind, today, we face a democratic crisis that has no parallel in this country’s history. The election of Donald Trump.

Although skeptics keep saying there is “no way” the electoral college can change its votes, they are only saying that because the College has never actually been used for one of its central intended purposes, as a safety mechanism, as a protection against, for example, “an obnoxious individual” (Federalist Paper №10, James Madison) and a leader who does not inspire “respect and acquiescence” (J. Madison, letter to George Hay) … which is exactly this.

Why does the Electoral College exist? And why did the Supreme Court say that in Bush v. Gore, the “right to vote for the President of the United States does not actually exist?” Because it doesn’t. According to the Constitution, we only vote for these electors, because of this protection, which was built into the system.

On the one had, the College was created to represent the various states more fully, but on the other hand, and the language is all there in the Federalist Papers, it was created to prevent a disastrous individual who did not truly represent the interests of the people from hijacking our Democracy.

Please also see this article in Time Magazine, from the Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia:

And this, from a 9/11 responder and a Republican member of the College:

In a time when anything at all seems possible, I believe this is both possible and necessary. Protests and petitions and phone calls and Democratic (and I don’t mean the party, I mean popular) resistance by the massive numbers of U.S. citizens show our “lack of respect and acquiesence” to this anti-Democratic, anti-free-press white supremacist.

Violence and unthinkable rudeness by anti-Trump protestors is confusing the issues immensely at this time, confusing Trump supporters who think that “hate” is coming “from both sides.” Yes, people are afraid and angry about Trump and his cohorts, but the extreme bigotry, racism, and race and gender-based hate crimes, the “Heil Trumps” are coming, clearly, from “extreme” Trump supporters, and this has not been in any way meaningfully disavowed by the President Elect.

I believe that civic activism, protests, letter writing, phone calls and etc. should continue and be escalating BEFORE Dec. 19 and not just planned for after an assumed Trump presidency, when Trump and his band of white supremacists will be in charge of Homeland Security, the National Guard, the U.S. Military, and etc. etc. In fact, it irks me somehow that everyone seems to have already rolled over on this idea … that Trump will take office. He hasn’t yet.

I believe we should be firm, but kind to Trump supporters who are feeling queasy right now. We need the full support of all the very reasonable, wonderful people who voted for Trump because he was a Republican, or because they believed him about the working class, or whatever. …

Furthermore, a group of Hamilton Republican Electors are already working to get their electors to vote for the VP (!) or a Republican, which (in my mind) is totally undemocratic and insane, because the only two people who ran a huge, exhausting, unprecedented campaign for President are Trump and Clinton. They are the only two that the American people heard on debates, who were considered fully by the public both on stage and in the media.

Nonetheless, I applaud these Republicans. At last count, (and all of this is moving very fast) I believe there were three to four Republican Hamilton Elector “defectors.” Seven Democrats from Blue States have joined, and announced they will support John Kasich if other Republicans will join them. One elector has resigned entirely from the college, based on his religious convictions, so as not to have to vote for Trump:


So, here’s something you can do today, and share with others:

Call your U.S. representative and express your desire for the College to go faithless to ensure that our government “of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” (Abraham Lincoln) … You may want to reach out to electors in your state, if your state went for Trump. Please be civil and respectful. The Change.org petition below is leading the campaign to persuade electors and this group provides many suggestions for action steps we call can take, including phoning the media — who are about two steps late on all of this.

Here is a list of electors: https://www.archives.gov/…/electoral-col…/2012-certificates/

Finally, please sign the Change.Org petition to add your name to millions (nearly 5 million now) who are pushing for this action at this time, and forward the petition.

And here is an article you can share with friends, and accompanying petition that lays out the case about Trump’s purported affinity with Hitler and support of white supremacists. Please share with your more moderate Trump voting buddies!



Ami Chen Mills-Naim

Global teacher, mother, author, journalist: SF Chronicle and Examiner, Inc. Mag, Metro, 3 CNPA First Place awards. See “Heart of America” on YouTube