Letter: SOMA Action Committee Asks Electoral College Not to Vote Trump Dec. 19

by The Village Green
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To the Editors:

We are writing to urge you to report on the Electoral College members who will be voting for our next president on December 19.

Many people misunderstand the role of the Electoral College and believe the electors must vote for the presidential candidate who receives the majority of votes in his/her state. This is not true. While the 538 electors have always voted according to the will of the people, our founding fathers wisely provided a safeguard against a dangerous and unfit president by giving these electors the power to protect our country.

The founding fathers specified three “tests” that a presidential candidate must pass before being elected:

1) He or she must be qualified. In Federalist Papers 68, Alexander Hamilton wrote, “…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.”

2) He or she must not play on public fears to gain power. Hamilton wrote, “Talent for low intrigue…may alone suffice to elect a man…but it will require other talents and merit to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union.”

3) He or she must not be under any foreign influence. Hamilton warned against, “…the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils,” and stated that they might do this, “by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union…”

If the people vote for a president who fails any one of these three tests, the constitution charges the electors to prevent this person from ever becoming president. We believe that Donald Trump fails all three of these tests. He is not qualified to be president. 50 Republicans who are national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter against electing Trump, stating he is “not qualified to be President and Commander in Chief.” He employed fear tactics, incited violence, and used racist hate speech throughout his campaign. Since the election, we have seen a disturbing increase in hate crimes throughout the country; Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened the first amendment rights of American citizens; and he has broken with decades-long diplomatic practices. Finally, there is a real concern the he is indeed under foreign influence. His business holdings around the globe (including in India, Taiwan, and elsewhere) pose a conflict of interest – the full extent to which is still unknown since he has refused to release his tax returns.

It is therefore the electors’ constitutional right and duty to protect our country from a Donald Trump presidency by voting for another qualified person or by abstaining from the vote altogether. If no Presidential candidate receives 270 Electoral College votes, the election of President is sent to the United States House of Representatives. This has happened twice in our nation’s history, so it is not unprecedented. Our founding fathers had the foresight to imagine this moment in history and to provide us with a way to land on the right side of it. Electors swear an oath to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution prior to casting their votes at the Electoral College. Please support them and our democracy by reporting comprehensively on this pivotal election.


SOMA Action Committee, a new and growing group of concerned residents from South Orange, Maplewood, and surrounding towns in New Jersey

(Editor’s note: SOMA Action Committee can be reached at somaactioncommittee@gmail.com.)

Nicole Kleinbaum
Marcia Bloomberg
Freyja Balmer
Susan Peterson Greeley
Ted Marcoux
Annie Horcasitas
Alison Shames
Barbara Zelenka
Jodi Lipper
Natasha Crawford
Mindy Schwartz-Brown
Anita Gundanna
Dawn Maffucci
Peta-Gaye Carter
Kelly Quirk
Latha Youngren
Regan White
Ann Ciaglia Niles
Katie Meehan
Sasha Brown Worsham
Sara Carpenter
Leslie Sickels





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