Trump campaign is plotting to steal Pennsylvania's electoral votes — here's how we can stop him cold

Trump campaign is plotting to steal Pennsylvania's electoral votes — here's how we can stop him cold
Image via Shutterstock.

It was one of the most chilling stories in a campaign that's already been one of the most disturbing of all time: Just last week, The Atlantic reported that Donald Trump's campaign is preparing to ask Republican lawmakers in swing states they control to ignore the popular vote and appoint members to the Electoral College who will vote for Trump—a power explicitly reserved to state legislatures under the Constitution.

Making this nascent effort to slaughter democracy even more alarming, the chair of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania—one of the most critical states up for grabs in the 2020 elections—openly admitted that he'd talked to the Trump campaign about this very possibility. "I hope they're thinking about it," Lawrence Tabas said. "It is one of the available legal options set forth in the Constitution." And state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, one of the men who'd be responsible for implementing such a scheme, refused to rule the idea out.

But we can stop this despicable plot dead in its tracks by flipping just one chamber of the Pennsylvania legislature, making it impossible for the GOP to defy the will of the people. That's because new legislators in the Keystone State assume office on Dec. 1 every even-numbered year under the state constitution—a much earlier date than in most other states, which typically defer the changing of the guard until January.

Crucially, election results in Pennsylvania typically are not certified until later in December: In 2016, for instance, the Department of State finalized that year's results—and with them the state's slate of electors—on Dec. 12. No matter how dastardly they're feeling, Republicans will have a hell of a time if they try to put forth their own set of electors before election officials even have a chance to finish counting the votes.

That, relatively speaking, is the simple part. The hard part is actually beating Republicans, because they've gerrymandered the district lines to within an inch of their lives. But despite the rigged maps, Democrats made big gains in Pennsylvania two years ago, and they're fielding a fantastic slate of candidates this fall. To capitalize on this energy, Daily Kos has endorsed 11 fierce progressives running for the state House, where we need to win nine GOP-held seats in order to take the chamber:

Emily Skopov
Marlene Katz
Lissa Shulman
Michele Knoll

Brittney Rodas
Lindsay Drew
Nancy Guenst

Anton Andrew
Deb Ciamacca
Claudette Williams
Ann Marie Mitchell

Pennsylvania Republicans know that for Trump to cling to power, they have to cling to power, too, and they'll use every nasty trick they can come up with—and then some. But together, we can make sure our candidates have the resources they need to fight back against the GOP dirty money machine by countering corporate cash with people power. Nothing less than the fate of our democracy depends on it.

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