Some Republicans hoping to remove Donald Trump from the ballot are worried that the inability to remove his name from ballots, will prevent the Republican Party from replacing him as their candidate.
It turns out there’s an easy, Constitutional solution.
All that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus would actually need in order to replace Trump is a pen and a phone. It’s true.
If Reince Priebus put out a press release and called up all of Donald Trump’s electors, explaining that “Mr. Trump recognizes the importance of keeping the Supreme Court out of Crooked Hillary’s hands, and is stepping aside to allow a new Republican ticket of Governor Mike Pence and Doctor Ben Carson to Make America Great Again,” then those electors could choose to vote for that ticket!
This is a tested way of replacing a candidate. In 1872 when Horace Greeley died after election day, Democrats who were set to vote for Greeley in the Electoral College voted for other candidates. Greeley lost the election, so their votes were scattered in a meaningless show of protest, but the Constitutional principle stood. Donald Trump would be the second Presidential candidate to be on the ballot but get replaced before the Electoral College voted, and the first to do so without dying.
Some would say that “faithless elector” laws might prevent this. These state laws purport to void Electoral College votes that deviate from the ballot, or purport to impose penalties on electors who do so. However these laws have never been enforced, and it’s not clear that they would stand up to a challenge by an elector who chose not to vote for Donald Trump.
It’s not clear the election outcome would be flipped in that case anyway. Hypothetically, if a Democrat-run state voided a slate of Republican electors, preventing the Republican from getting an Electoral College majority, then those votes still would not go to Hillary Clinton. They just would not vote, and the result would be a hung election.
In this event, it’s overwhelmingly likely that the House of Representatives would elect the Republican nominee anyway, as it seems impossible for a Republican to win the Presidential election, while swinging an Electoral College majority of House delegations to the Democrats.
So Republicans need not fear the logistics of replacing Donald Trump. They just have to do it.