When citizens of the U.S. cast their ballots on Nov. 8, they didn’t make the final decision to elect Donald Trump – that decision falls to 538 people as part of the Electoral College, the system the United States uses to elect its president. Those 538 people, called electors, meet today (Dec. 19) in state capitals around the nation.

They are pledged to vote for the candidate of one party or the other, but technically, they can (and in the past have) vote for someone else. With calls for electors to choose anyone else besides Trump as president, could the Electoral College put the power of the presidency into someone else’s hands?

Daniel P. Franklin is an associate professor of political science at Georgia State University and is an expert on executive power, political culture, presidential legacies, and the relationships between the presidency and Congress.

He is available directly at [email protected]. His direct phone contact is available to logged-in registrants of the Newswise system.

He is the author of “Pitiful Giants: Presidents in their Final Term,” looking at the final terms of recent presidents and their legacies.

This summer, Rowman & Littlefield published a revised edition of his 2006 book, “Politics and Film: Political Culture and Film in the United States.” It explores popular movies and TV shows as indicators of social and political trends to explore the political culture of the U.S., including American Sniper, House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, and Twelve Years a Slave.

To read a Q&A article with Franklin about the ins and outs of the Electoral College, visit http://news.gsu.edu/2016/10/26/what-is-the-electoral-college/.

More information about Franklin is available at http://politicalscience.gsu.edu/profile/daniel-p-franklin/.