No, ‘faithless electors’ in the Electoral College won’t elect Hillary Clinton president

No, ‘faithless electors’ in the Electoral College won’t elect Hillary Clinton president

They're called "faithless electors," and many Hillary Clinton supporters are hoping they can save their candidate and change the course of history.

As millions of Americans watched the votes come in on election night, all eyes were on the Electoral College, which essentially decides who will be the next president of the United States.

Republican Donald Trump ended up winning at least 279 electoral votes to Clinton's 229. Candidates need 270 votes to win the White House.

The Electoral College, which is made up of 538 electors, will gather at state capitals across the country on Dec. 19 to cast their vote for president.

However, 26 states and Washington, D.C., require the elector to vote with the popular vote, according to FactCheck.org.  There is no provision in the U.S. Constitution or any federal law that requires electors to vote in line with the popular vote in their states. 

And that's what many Clinton supporters are counting on, that these electors will cast their votes for the Democratic nominee, essentially taking the victory from Trump and giving it to Clinton.

A Change.org petition has been set up urging electors to vote for Clinton.

"We are calling on the electors to ignore their states' votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why? Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic," the petition says.

The Founding Fathers put the Electoral College in place to make sure that "the office of president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications," according to FactCheck.org.

But the faithless elector scenario is unlikely to play out.

"Today, it is rare for electors to disregard the popular vote by casting their electoral vote for someone other than their party's candidate. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99% of electors have voted as pledged," the National Archives and Records Administration website states.

Moreover, with both Clinton and President Barack Obama accepting Trump's victory and vowing to work with the president-elect during the transition period between now and the Jan. 20 inauguration, it's exceedingly unlikely the faithless elector effort will gain further traction.