A last-ditch effort to stop the election of President-elect Donald Trump is underway in the U.S. District Court of Anchorage, with a lawsuit filed on Dec. 12 against all three of Alaska’s electors who will cast their votes in Juneau on Dec. 19.
Janice Park, a Hillary Clinton voter in Anchorage, filed the lawsuit against former Gov. Sean Parnell of Palmer, Carolyn Leman of Anchorage, and Jacqueline Tupou of Juneau.
The lawsuit claims that because Hillary Clinton won 2.84 million more votes than Donald Trump nationwide, Alaska’s electors would be denying Park her Fifth Amendment right of equal protection if the electors do not cast their vote for Clinton.
In Alaska, Trump won over Clinton 53 to 38 percent.
The basis for the lawsuit is complicated: Park claims that unless the court stops the electoral vote from proceeding, the electors “will effectively cause a single vote for Clinton to be valued less than a single vote for Trump. Calculating roughly based on the total votes available to PARK at the time of this complaint, the value of each Clinton vote will be only about .97 of each Trump vote. If Clinton’s margin expands as projected, that value will decrease to about .95.”
Park has asked for an expedited hearing, which Judge Timothy Burgess granted her. The matter will be heard Thursday at 4 p.m. in Anchorage. The State Department of Law will field the charges, as it is required to do by statute.
Before the election, Clinton supporters and the media blasted President-elect Trump because he would not go on record saying he would unequivocally agree with whatever the election results were. On Oct. 19, the New York Times wrote in a news story:
“In a remarkable statement that seemed to cast doubt on American democracy, Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he might not accept the results of next month’s election if he felt it was rigged against him — a stand that Hillary Clinton blasted as “horrifying” at their final and caustic debate on Wednesday.
“Mr. Trump, under enormous pressure to halt Mrs. Clinton’s steady rise in opinion polls, came across as repeatedly frustrated as he tried to rally conservative voters with hard-line stands on illegal immigration and abortion rights. But he kept finding himself drawn onto perilous political territory by Mrs. Clinton and the debate’s moderator, Chris Wallace.”
No such outrage has been articulated by those on the Left regarding this lawsuit, which ignores the entire purpose and role of the Electoral College. The College was designed by the Founders of the country to be a buffer and to fairly distribute power to all states, regardless of size. It is written in the Constitution.
The creation of the Electoral College came at the end of the Constitutional Convention, when the Founders settled on a two-part, state-based election process that forces presidential candidates to reach out to all states, not just the most populous ones, in order to build a broad base of support.
The electors will gather in all state capitols on Dec. 19 to cast their votes.
It is believed that Trump has 305 of the total 538 electoral votes available. (One Texas Republican elector has said he will not honor the electoral rules requiring him cast his vote for Trump). Two hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to win the White House.
Electors are generally required by law to vote according to how their states voted during the November General Election. Most states have a winner-takes-all-electors law that governs the process. Pressure on electors has been unprecedented, with reports of hundreds and even thousands of emails arriving each day for some of them, pressuring them to change their votes, and even threatening them.
The six states with the most electoral votes are: California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20) and Pennsylvania (20). They control 191 electoral votes, but in the popular vote, California actually gave Clinton at least 3.1 million, which would have been enough to swing the general election for her. If the Electoral College balancing process were not in place, states like New York and California would own the presidency.
Finally, without the Electoral College, Alaska’s 318,608 votes cast in the presidential race would have very little impact on the outcome nationally and candidates and presidents would pay no attention to the state or its concerns.
But with the Electoral College, Alaska’s three electors represent 10 percent of the 35-vote margin that Trump has today.
Percentages like that make Alaska a lot more important in the grand scheme of presidential politics.
The public is invited to the Electoral College ceremony in Juneau on Monday: