The so-called Hamilton Electors are attempting to convince 37 Republican electors to change their vote in support of an alternative Republican candidate, to stop the president-elect from taking office.
The group named themselves after former US President Alexander Hamilton, who said in his Federalist Papers, "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."
Denver elector Michael Baca said the electoral college should function as a “break-the-glass-in-case-of-an-emergency mechanism” to prevent unqualified candidates from becoming president. He told CBS 4, "We have that, 'Hey, Donald Trump came through, but now we need to break the glass and we need to really do our job under the 12th Amendment.'"
Their Facebook page reads, "In accordance with Alexander Hamilton’s vision for the Electoral College, Hamilton Electors will deliberate in the days to come in order to provide an alternative to the unqualified and unvirtuous person our country is faced with. A ‘We The People’ candidate will be selected to provide an alternative for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to unite behind."
Not everyone is excited about the idea of challenging the Electoral College. Trump supporters on Baca’s personal Facebook page accuse him of being ignorant of the US Constitution, with one person calling him "truly pathetic."
Electors are chosen by both parties, with each state getting as many electors as its state delegation, and they are expected to cast their vote for the candidate that carries their state.
"A Republican won the Electoral College votes, absolutely Donald Trump won that," Baca said. "I’ll give you that. But I don’t think that Republican needs to be Donald Trump."
Electors who vote against the their state’s results are called "faithless electors," and they usually stand alone, as they represent hundreds of thousands of votes. A collective rejection by faithless electors has never been attempted.
"Someone needs to be first and we need to start spreading that message and I think the more that message gets across," he said, "people are going to realize, 'Hey, this is actually a slim chance but so was signing the constitution.'"