Politics

Anti-Trump demonstrators are planning to protest when Kentucky’s eight presidential electors meet on Monday to cast their Electoral College votes in Frankfort.

The group is part of the December 19 Coalition, an organization trying to get electors promised to Donald Trump on Election Day to become “faithless electors” by switching their votes or not voting at all.

James Moore, the group’s organizer in Kentucky, says electors should abstain from voting because of allegations that Russia tried to influence the election in Donald Trump’s favor and Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote.

“The appropriate thing to do is throw this election into the House of Representatives at least for additional discussion in light of everything that’s happened,” Moore said.

Federal law requires electors from all 50 states and Washington D.C. to cast their votes on Monday. Kentucky’s electors will meet at 11:30 a.m. in the state Supreme Court chamber.

Though Clinton beat Trump by more than 2.8 million votes in the nationwide popular vote, the president-elect won the Electoral College vote on Election Day.

Presidential candidates need to garner a majority of the country’s 538 electors in order to formally win the presidency. Though Trump presumably won a majority of electors — 306 — on Nov. 8, electors won’t officially cast their ballots until Monday, Dec. 19.

Kentucky is one of 24 states that don’t legally bind electors to vote for the candidate that won a majority of votes in the state. Moore admits that the odds of convincing any of Kentucky’s electors to not vote for Trump “are reasonably low.”

“Nevertheless we want to demonstrate that there is a significant undercurrent of resistance against what’s happening and we want to make that as visible as we can,” Moore said.

Chris Suprun of Texas is the only Republican elector to announce he won’t vote for Trump.

Trump would need to lose the votes of 37 electors to no longer have a majority of Electoral College votes.

Almost twice as many Kentucky voters cast ballots for Trump over Clinton, with the president-elect winning a majority of votes in 118 counties — all but Fayette and Jefferson.

If no presidential candidate wins a majority of votes in the Electoral College, a “contingent election” would be held in the U.S. House of Representatives. Each state’s delegation in the House would cast one vote; the candidate that received the most votes would win.

Only two presidential elections have been decided through a contingent election — in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson defeated sitting President John Adams, and in 1824 when John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay and William Crawford.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.