directelection.orgJeff Strabone, a registered Democrat from New York "who is terrified by the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president." launched the http://directelection.org website to help people send "signed postal letters to the members of the Electoral College from states won by Donald Trump to ask them, respectfully, not to vote for Trump." Strabone posted addresses for about 260 electors and downloadable letters.
I am writing to you in your capacity as a presidential elector. I do not envy the responsibility that you bear during these difficult times when we face a new split between the popular and apparent electoral votes. While I myself believe that Hillary Clinton’s popular margin of victory, over 2.5 million votes nationwide, ought to convince the electors to vote for her, I am writing to ask you to choose her for a different reason: that the electoral college was designed specifically to bar men like Donald Trump from the presidency.
Our presidential system, designed in 1787 and not amended since 1804, empowers the electors to use their wise judgment to choose our president. Whatever we may think of this system now, there were sound reasons for it at the time, as articulated by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 68: “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” Donald Trump continues to demonstrate that he lacks the requisite qualifications.
Hamilton’s wisdom notwithstanding, our nation has been trying to get rid of the electoral college for the last two centuries. According to John Vile in his Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789-2002, there have been more than 850 proposals offered in Congress to amend or abolish the electoral college, the first as early as 1816. We came very close to abolishing it in 1969–1970. An amendment (S.J.Res. 1 in the 91st Congress) won overwhelming passage in the House by a vote of 338 to 70 on September 18, 1969 and was supported by President Nixon only to die by filibuster in the Senate in 1970. Both cloture votes had majority support, the last being 53 to 34 on September 29, 1970. If not for that filibuster, we would probably have chosen our presidents by popular vote beginning in 1972.
There are many reasons to reject Donald Trump as unfit to be president. I will name just one: he will pervert our standards of law and ethics by using the presidency to enrich himself and his family. He has been sued more than any candidate in our history. On November 18, he agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits alleging fraud at his “Trump University.” Since the election, he and his children have continued to pursue their business interests with foreign leaders. As Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, has pointed out, Donald Trump’s hotel in D.C. would violate Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which bars officers from receiving profit or gain from foreign powers. We don’t even know the range of his interests because he has refused to release his tax returns or place his companies in a true blind trust. Let’s not inaugurate a president whose greed destines him for impeachment.
I am grateful for your service to our nation as an elector. You may in fact believe that Donald Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton or anyone else. But if you share my fear that Trump would weaken and shame our country, then I encourage you to exercise the power granted you by the Constitution and join the 156 “faithless” electors in our nation’s history by putting country above party and blocking Donald Trump from the presidency. Hamilton would have wanted you to do so.
[your signature and name]