The Electoral College has been a formality these 230 years, though the College has a specific role handed down by the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Alexander Hamilton warned and described the Electoral College as a body of last resort. He wrote this in the Federalist Papers 68 on March 14, 1788.
The Electoral College, said Hamilton, is intended to protect the nation:
The process of election affords a moral certainty, that 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…..
And that the electors should be wary of foreign influence….
… should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.
And that they should consider the merits of the chosen leader….
Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union…
And that the person elected president ..
Should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence.
Here is hoping that the electors recognize their duty, outlined by Alexander Hamilton long ago.