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Electoral Override

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With the number of candidates that started out on the Republican side, there is now some doubt as to whether either of the two serious contenders can amass the necessary magic number of 1237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. This would result in what is called (among other names, some good, some bad) a brokered convention. In such a situation, the delegates are no longer beholden to the will of the people. They are free to vote for any candidate they wish, even if that person has suspended his or her campaign. What could possibly go wrong?

Even if the current leader, Donald Trump fails to achieve the necessary delegates to avoid this situation, he is still fairly popular in conservative circles. He is rather infamous within the GOP establishment, however. Suppose the delegates decided on Marco Rubio, tea partier turned establishment puppet. Now, here’s where it could potentially get really weird.

Come November, the people cast their votes in the general election. Now, if you read the Constitution carefully, you’ll note that the people are not electing the president so much as they are choosing the electors for their state. At no time in our nation’s history have these electors voted against their party’s nominee. What if (and believe me this is hypothetical) the majority of people in one or several states voted for Donald Trump as a write in?

The electors now have a choice. They go to cast their ballots in December, a full month after the general election. Granted, due to 24 hour news coverage, the cat is out of the bag on election night or shortly thereafter—usually. If they keep with the historical precedent and vote for the party nominee (in this scenario Rubio) they disregard the will of the people. If the electors adhere to the will of the people they will have voted against the nominee, which has never happened—ever.

On election night, after the votes are counted, Wolf Blitzer on CNN would announce that Donald Trump is the projected winner for (insert your state here). Then in December, the electors turn around and vote for the guy on the ballot, ignoring the overwhelming number of write-ins. What would be the result? More to the point, how would the people react? Would they react?

There are a lot of people who are preparing for some sort of revolution, if social media accounts are to be believed (spoiler alert: they aren’t). Would these people actually log off Twitter long enough to rise up and even attempt a rebellion? Or would they remain on the internet, shouting into the dark abyss about the grave miscarriage of justice? The following day, they would rise from the hangover brought on by a night of rage fuelled ranting, hours spent staring at a computer screen.

There would be no revolt. There would barely be a protest. Election “season” would be over, and the people will search frantically for the next reality TV show starting soon.



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