Signatories including university professors nationwide, members of the electoral college, activists and even a former mayor of New York City are signatories to an open letter appearing in newspapers nationwide starting Dec. 14. The letter implores the United States’ electoral college to “exercise judment and choice” in its decision regarding the next president, and to “urge [them] to cast [their] ballot for a person with the temperament, integrity and commitment to Constitutional principles necessary in a president.”
The open letter was published in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Austin American-Statesman, Salt Lake City Tribune and Tampa Bay Times on Dec. 14, and will appear in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Wisconsin State Journal on Dec. 15. The letter is a project of the Democracy and Progress PAC and the Electoral College Petition.
The electoral college will cast its votes on Dec. 19.
Read the letter in its entirety below:
We, a bipartisan coalition of Americans including Electors, scholars, officials, and concerned citizens write to you in the spirit of fellowship, out of our sense of patriotism, and with great urgency.
There are times in the life of a nation when extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Now is a such time, and your courage and leadership are required.
Never in our Republic’s history has there been a President-apparent comparable to Donald Trump. His inauguration would present a grave and continual threat to the Constitution, to domestic tranquility, and to international stability:
- He has threatened the freedom of speech by condoning violence at public events, and suggesting criminal penalties and even revocation of citizenship to punish political expression;
- He has threatened the freedom of press by vowing to revoke First Amendment protections for journalists;
- He has threatened the freedom of religion by proposing to bar entry to the country and force the registration of members of certain faiths;
- He has entangled himself with foreign interests through his personal business dealings, and refused to provide records of his taxes, which could allay suspicions;
- He has indicated a willingness to condone torture, in contravention of the Constitution and our international treaties, which carry the force of law;
- He is uncomfortably close to the regime of Russia, which has interfered in the election;
- He has shown reckless disregard for diplomacy, communicating impulsively, in public forums, regarding matters of national security, and allowing personal emotions to interfere with reasoned judgment, calling into question his fitness as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the nuclear capabilities of the United States;
- He has, unlike every previous Commander-in-Chief, never served in any public position, whether elected or appointed, civilian or military, thereby bringing no experience or proven judgment on behalf of The People, or evidence of a character suited to high office.
For these reasons, his assumption of office endangers the Constitution, the freedoms it protects, and the continued prosperity and welfare of the United States.
You, Electors, possess the power to prevent this outcome. You are not bound to cast your vote for the candidate of your party – and, as he won neither a majority nor even a plurality of the popular vote, there can be no question of undermining the will of The People.
The Constitution empowers Electors to exercise judgment and choice. If your role were only ceremonial, our Founders would not have required the states to elect you, or that you cast ballots by your own hand. State laws notwithstanding, you are free to vote your conscience. You have a mandate, like all officials, to protect and defend the Constitution.13 And you have the right and responsibility to investigate those who stand for this office, and to deliberate before casting your vote.
We place country before party in imploring you, our fellow Americans, to investigate and deliberate. We stand with you as you exercise your conscience and give profound consideration to the consequences of your vote. We affirm your right and your duty to do so free from intimidation, and urge you to cast your ballot for a person with the temperament, integrity and commitment to Constitutional principles necessary in a President.
In doing so, know that you enjoy the support of millions of Americans.
Thank you for your service to our country.
You can find a list of the letter’s signatories here.