Majority of US thinks Electoral College vote should be delayed until Russia claims investigated, poll shows

Some 52 per cent say the vote should be postponed until electors are given more information about the alleged meddling in the election by the Kremlin

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Monday 19 December 2016 10:21
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President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour 2016 at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center on 13 December, 2016, in West Allis, Wisconsin
President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour 2016 at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center on 13 December, 2016, in West Allis, Wisconsin

A majority of US voters are in favour of delaying the Electoral College vote to confirm the next president until the extent of Russian hacking in the election can be explained, a new poll has shown.

The YouGov survey commissioned by campaign group Avaaz found 52 per cent of people were in favour of postponing the vote after the CIA said the Kremlin had consistently interfered with the election to help Donald Trump.

A further 46 per cent were also willing to support the “faithless electors” – the Electoral College voters planning to defy their states’ wishes – ahead of the vote on Monday.

White House suggests Trump benefited from Russia hacking

Opponents of the former reality star have been attempting to persuade electors to change their vote to someone else and thereby deny him the crucial 270 college votes he needs to win.

One group of defiant electors, called the Hamilton Electors, said it would be against the principles of the Founding Fathers to vote for Mr Trump as Alexander Hamilton, said “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”.

US presidential elections are not decided by the popular vote. The Electoral College is made up of 538 voters divided between the states according to population size to give smaller states more of a voice.

Mr Trump’s defeated challenger, Hillary Clinton, is on course to win the popular vote by nearly three million votes but these were concentrated in “safe” Democrat states like California or New York.

The anxieties about Russian meddling come after the CIA said it was behind the leaks of damaging emails sent by key figures in the Democrat party to Wikileaks and other transparency websites.

Moscow has denied the allegations but is still widely believed they intervened on Mr Trump’s side as they perceive that he will be more sympathetic towards them than Ms Clinton.

Indeed Mr Trump has appointed Rex Tillerson, an oil executive with close ties to the Kremlin, as his Secretary of State despite outcry over a conflict of interest.

Mr Tillerson was awarded the “Order of Friendship” by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013 – the highest Russian honour for foreigner.

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