Landslide 94% MoveOn Member Vote Launches Effort to Push Electors to Reject Trump
With five days before the Electoral College meets, MoveOn members will mobilize to ask electors to reject Trump because of Russian interference, significant conflicts of interest, and popular vote results; campaign will include new video featuring Republican elector, participation in protests at 50 state capitols, an appeal to President Obama to intervene, and call for electors to be fully briefed on what intelligence agencies know about interference from Russian leaders.
*** See a new MoveOn video featuring Texas Republican elector Christopher Suprun on why he won’t support Trump (over 1M views overnight): http://bit.ly/2gDioLv ***
After an overwhelming 94% of voting MoveOn.org members approved launching a new campaign to urge Electoral College members to reject Trump, MoveOn.org Political Action is launching today a multi-faceted campaign doing just that. The organization cited Russian interference, Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest, and the 2.8 million vote margin in Hillary Clinton’s favor, as well as Trump’s apparent disregard for the Constitution, as motivating the extraordinary step.
“This is an unprecedented moment in American history,” said MoveOn.org Civic Action Executive Director Anna Galland. “Trump presents a unique set of threats to our democracy. Every elector who votes their conscience to block Trump can help draw attention to his absolute lack of mandate, his loss of the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, the extraordinary interference by a foreign government in this election, his business’s foreign entanglements, and his patent unfitness for office. Our actions now will also help push Democrats to be bolder and more courageous in their opposition to Trump’s and the Republicans’ odious policies and nominees—knowing that MoveOn members will have their backs when they step out to defend our common values and what’s best for our nation.”
A new video from MoveOn this week with more than 1 million views since its release last night features Christopher Suprun, a Republican elector from Texas who is refusing to support Trump.
“He is not fit to lead our national security, having multiple conflicts of interest,” Suprun says. “The CIA report is frightening. It should concern every American whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Green Party member, or Libertarian, or just a plain old Independent. When a foreign government interferes with our election and tries to undermine it, much less pick favorites, our country’s in trouble.”
MoveOn’s recent work includes partnering with former White House ethics counsels Richard Painter and Norm Eisen, who served Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama respectively, to produce a new video with more than 4 million views and host a Facebook Live conversation on how Trump will be in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause on his first day in office due to his conflicts of interest.
More than 200,000 people have signed a MoveOn.org petition calling on President Obama to “declassify all evidence of Russian interference and host intelligence briefing for electors before Electoral College votes on December 19.” And on Wednesday, more than 17,000 MoveOn members called the White House with that same request.
Recent reports indicate that a growing number of electors are considering or open to voting against Trump when the Electoral College meets next week.
In an email to members opening the vote on Wednesday, MoveOn staff wrote:
- The MoveOn community overwhelmingly wants to abolish the Electoral College. We believe in “one person, one vote.”
- Given that the Electoral College does exist, there’s a strong case that it should serve its constitutional purpose. The Electoral College “was primarily designed to stop a demagogue—a tyrannical mass leader who preys on our prejudices—from becoming President.” And, as spelled out in the Federalist Papers, to prevent “the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.” That’s what we will urge the Electoral College to do, if MoveOn members vote to move ahead with this effort.
- The odds of this effort succeeding in denying Trump the White House are exceedingly small. It would take 37 “conscientious electors” from states that voted for Trump to defeat him.
- But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t try. Even a small number of electoral votes against Trump will send a strong message that he does not have a mandate. It will remind Americans that Trump lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes. It could embolden lawmakers to investigate Russian meddling in the election. And it could strengthen the movement against some of Trump’s most shocking nominees, including Rex Tillerson, the long-time CEO of Exxon Mobile, who has deep ties to Vladimir Putin, and John Bolton, the extreme hawk who’s being proposed as Tillerson’s deputy.
MoveOn opposes the existence of the Electoral College, which was founded in part for racist and anti-democratic reasons, but given that it exists, MoveOn urges electors to take their responsibility under the Constitution seriously and reject Trump.
MoveOn.org Political Action represents the collective will of MoveOn’s members at the ballot box by helping to elect progressive candidates and advance progressive change.