RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hillary Clinton's supporters are calling on the Electoral College to step in and keep Donald Trump from taking the White House.
Experts say it's a possible, but unlikely move. While voters headed to the polls this week, the Electoral College ultimately has the final say on who becomes the next president. Those electors will meet in just a matter of weeks and they could make an about-face and hand over the presidency to Clinton.
"I had to come and vote for Trump. I had to," said Miriam Praino after casting her ballot in Chesterfield. She's 78 years old and says it was her mission to head to the polls. "I don't know when I'll vote again…We need to have a change."
Based on the number of electoral votes needed, her candidate of choice won the Presidency, even though Hillary Clinton gained more votes overall. A change.org petition is calling on those electors to listen to the majority of voters when the Electoral College meets next month.
"In most states, they have to follow exactly what the popular vote total was in those states. In about a third of them, they don't have to," said VCU Associate Professor Dr. Ravi Perry.
He says if electors, who are picked by their respective parties, change their minds, they have that right.
"In the modern era, we haven't seen that happen but historically it has happened once or twice and it can happen again," Perry said.
Nationally, and even locally, protesters have taken to the streets angry Trump could win the White House without winning the majority of votes. While the Electoral College can pull a historic move by picking Clinton, some states will penalize electors who don't vote exactly how their state did.
"The penalty isn't a serious one. It's a very small fine and there is no long-term consequences to that," Perry added, but he says don't count on a sudden Clinton victory since electors generally vote as instructed. "It's unlikely but it's possible."
"The outcome of the election is clear and the America people have spoken. It's time to be about the business of governing. We urge Democrats across the country to join with us in condemning the violent riots sweeping the country; as was repeated often times just weeks ago, everyone needs to accept the results of our democracy," said John Whitbeck of the Republican Party of Virginia.
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