Despite a popular petition on the Change.org website about how the nation’s 538 electors should vote on December 19, there seems to be little chance of the tactic changing the recent presidential election’s outcome. As of Monday afternoon, more than 4.3 million people signed an online petition “to make Hillary Clinton President on December 19” by calling on electors in the Electoral College to ignore their commitments to vote for Donald Trump. For now, Trump has 290 votes in the Electoral College, compared with 228 for Clinton. The vote counting continues in two states: Michigan and New Hampshire. But Trump only needed 270 votes to clinch the election, which he received early on November 9. Regardless of what happens on December 19, Republican candidate Trump will become the elected President on January 6, 2017, unless some vastly unforeseen event prevents Congress from counting the Electoral College votes during a joint meeting of Congress, or the President-elect is unable to take his oath on Friday, January 20, 2017.
In the end, the House and Senate must agree on any changes made to the Electoral College vote during the in-person Electoral College voting that takes place on December 19 at 50 state capitals and in the District of Columbia. When the official vote certificates are opened by Congress on January 6, the Constitution allows challenges to “faithless electors” who switch their votes, as long as one member of the House and one member of the Senate agree on the same challenge. If a challenge is upheld, the faithless elector’s vote is discarded.
Given that the Republicans control the House and the Senate in the next Congress, an unlikely possible outcome would be that enough faithless electors put Trump’s tally below the 270 votes needed to win the Electoral College vote. In that case, the majority of House and Senate Republicans would invalidate those faithless votes, triggering a run-off contingent election in the House and Senate that Trump and Mike Pence would win.
… There has been one election that was influenced by the faithless elector scenario. In 1836, while Martin Van Buren won the presidential election outright, nearly two dozen faithless electors refused to vote for Van Buren’s vice presidential running mate, Richard Mentor Johnson. On February 9, 1837, Congress opened the vote certificates and confirmed that 23 electors in Virginia voted for another candidate, William Smith of Alabama. Johnson defeated the second-place finisher, Francis Granger, in the Senate run-off election
Full Article: Don’t expect Electoral College drama on December 19.