19-year-old Electoral College member Levi Guerra joins movement to block Trump presidency

19-year-old Electoral College member Levi Guerra joins movement to block Trump presidency
Source: AP
Source: AP

Levi Guerra, a 19-year-old Electoral College member for Washington state, announced Wednesday her decision to join the Hamilton electors, a rebellious faction seeking to prevent the formal election of Donald Trump.

The Hamilton electors — also known as faithless electors — "are pledging to put America first and vote for a responsible Republican alternative who can unify our country," according to their website.  

Despite Guerra's home state having voted blue — with the expectation that its representatives in the Electoral College would vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton — Guerra will write in a Republican alternative to Trump.

"I'm only 19 and this is my first time being involved in politics, but I hope that my willingness to put my country before my party will show that my generation cares about all Americans," Guerra told the Guardian in a statement.

Somewhat ironically, these Democratic defectors will end up voting for a Republican, detracting from the number of electoral votes Clinton will receive. Right now she has 232 to Trump's 306, should the electors vote as they are traditionally expected to: in line with the majority of their state. Two hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to win the election. 

The Hamilton electors want to persuade 37 Republican electors to cast a vote for someone from their party other than Trump. If they're able to, the decision would fall upon the House of Representatives — who might vote for Trump anyway, as Politico pointed out.

The Hamilton electors argue they are morally obligated to prevent "an unfit man" from obtaining the presidency — a sentiment backed by the Constitution, they say.

Their website, Facebook page and Twitter account all quote Alexander Hamilton from the Federalist Papers as justification for their mandate. 

"The process of the Electoral College affords a moral certainty, that the office of the President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications," Hamilton wrote in Federalist Paper No. 68

The group registered a 527 nonprofit organization with the Colorado Secretary of State on Tuesday to raise money for their campaign in the run-up to the Dec. 19 vote. 

It is registered under Michael Baca, the Democratic Colorado elector spearheading the campaign.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein has raised nearly $7 million in the wake of the election to conduct vote recounts in three crucial states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — where some statisticians believe Clinton might have won. 

The momentum of Stein's campaign suggests there is the will to subvert the results. Clinton, in fact, won the popular vote by more than 2.5 million votes. But the question remains whether the will of the people will be reflected in the votes of the Electoral College. 

"I stand behind Hamilton electors," Guerra said.  "I promised those who elected me that I would do everything I could to keep Donald Trump out of office."