A petition spearheaded by the Long Beach mayor’s outgoing Deputy Chief of Staff Daniel Brezenoff that calls for the Electoral College to sway toward Hillary Clinton has officially become the largest-ever on Change.org, with 4.7 million signatures, the petition platform announced on December 2.
While the platform has not yet swayed any electors, according to a recent piece in People Magazine, Hillary Clinton’s lead has grown to a margin of over 2.5 million votes, and the coalition spearheaded by Brezenoff has amassed a number of academics, Democratic electors and at least one elected official.
Separately, one Texas elector announced in an opinion piece on the New York Times that he would not be voting for Trump, pledging to become the first “faithless elector” since 2004.
— Change.org (@Change) December 2, 2016
Since its inception, a number of celebrities— ranging from Lady Gaga, Pink, Jeffrey Wright, Laverne Cox, Gigi Hadid, Sia, Amanda Seyfried, Rosie Perez, k.d. lang, Alyssa Milano, Guillermo Diaz and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone—have expressed their support.
“It’s unprecedented, but there’s a lot about this election that’s unprecedented,” said Brezenoff in a previous interview, noting the unusual campaign of Donald Trump and Sen. Barbara Boxer’s proposed legislation to abolish the Electoral College. “It’s not implausible, even if it’s not likely.”
Ultimately, Brezenoff said he thought it important to talk about the Electoral College, at any rate, even if the PAC isn’t successful in swaying electoral votes, noting the disproportionate sway some states have over others. He said he found it troubling that one vote in Wyoming counts three and a half times more than one vote in California, and asserted a large reason the Electoral College was founded was due to James Madison’s wish to preserve the power of states with large populations of slaves who were ineligible to vote—in large part, preserving slavery. His opinion is shared by Yale Law School professor Akhil Reed Amar, as written in an op-ed for TIME.
Others have argued for the necessity of the Electoral College, citings its protections of “minority” states (those with populations not represented in large urban centers), and the fact that the U.S. has never been a pure democracy.
“If Donald Trump won the popular vote and not the Electoral College, he’d say ‘It’s rigged,’” said Brezenoff.
This report was updated at 4:20PM with information from the New York Times article.