Frequently Asked Questions

 

About this website

What can I do here?

Registered users can write open letters addressed to the members of the Electoral College and can add their signature to letters written by other people. All letters and signatures are visible to the public.

Why do I need to register or create an account?

Registration helps prevent spam and misuse of this forum. To encourage responsible use, all letters and signatures are shown with your name and state of residence.

Can I comment on a letter?

No. The goal of this forum is to encourage people to communicate with the Electors; many other forums exist to foster open discussion, but only the Electors control the outcome of the election now. Please address the Electors directly in your letters.

How will my letter be delivered to the Electors?

Since the election, the Electors have been receiving a tremendous volume of direct communication. To avoid overwhelming them further, the letters submitted here will be gathered into a single packet and delivered to each Elector shortly before December 19, using publically available contact information. We are also reaching out to the Electors and making them aware of the content here so they can read at any time they choose.

Aren't there other sites doing the same thing?

Yes, and we are fully supportive of any efforts to ensure that the Electors hear from the people they represent! There are other sites that make Elector contact information available or facilitate direct communication, but these are resulting in the Electors getting bombarded with more letters than they can keep up with, and it's creating quite a burden for them. Our goal is to present letters to Electors in a way that maximizes the chances of them hearing the opinions that have the most support, while respecting their time and privacy.

 

About the Electoral College

Isn't the election already over?

Yes, but the election doesn't really result in the choice of a President, at least not directly. According to the system created by our Constitution, the people in each state choose Electors who meet and cast their ballots for President. There are currently 538 Electors; together they form the Electoral College. The Electors are meant to consider the "sense of the people," including the results of the popular vote, but ultimately to deliberate and make their own decisions.

Aren't the Electors forced to honor their state's popular vote results?

The rationale for the creation of the Electoral College is provided in The Federalist Papers, essay #68, written by Alexander Hamilton in 1788. Hamilton makes clear that each Elector should rely on "information and discernment" in making their choice, and should prevent the selection of "any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications." He was especially concerned with candidates who benefit from foreign influence, or those who rely on "the little arts of popularity."

Some states have passed laws requiring all Electors to cast their vote for the winning candidate in their state, but some Constitutional scholars believe these laws to be in conflict with the Constitution. Electors have broken ranks in the past without consequence, although never in large enough numbers to change the outcome of an election, and the behavior of the Electors has never been tested in court. (21 states already offer complete freedom to the Electors.)

Who are the members of the Electoral College?

They're appointed by the political parties in each state. Some are well-known public figures, but most of them are ordinary people, chosen for positions that have become largely ceremonial in recent years. Electors may be business owners, county clerks, even college students. Most have regular lives and open their own mail. Many are unequipped to deal with the flood of communication that has come their way after this most unusual of elections.

 

About the creators of dearelector.com

Who created this site?

We're two pretty normal people, a teacher and a software developer from New York with no real connection to politics. The election left each of us with strong feelings and our own messages for the Electors, but not much hope of getting through. We decided to create a new platform for all people to share and promote their thoughts in a way that respects the Electors and their unique burden.

Why do you think this is necessary?

Many people consider efforts like this to be the result of "sour grapes," and encourage everyone to accept the election results and move on. Certainly there are winners and losers in every election, and someone is always disappointed; it rarely merits this kind of response.

Reading Alexander Hamilton's language in the Federalist Papers, it seems that this election is tailor-made for decisive action by the Electoral College. For perhaps the first time in our nation's history, virtually everything he warned against has come to pass. While we aren't personally disposed to a strict reading of the Constitution, it seems that anyone who believes in the wisdom of our Founding Fathers should support robust deliberation by the Electoral College.

Our personal feelings aside, we pledge to honor and respect those with different views on social, economic and global issues. We encourage frank conversations and hope to find common ground. We simply ask for a President who takes the role seriously and offers the same respect and consideration to all Americans.