The nation’s electors are set to make the election results official on Dec. 19 — that is, if they can survive the next three weeks. According to many Republican members of the Electoral College, they’re receiving pressure, harassment, and even death threats to cast a faithless vote against President-elect Donald Trump:
Texas Republican Alex Kim said he and his fellow electors have been inundated with emails and phone calls from those urging them to consider switching their vote for Mr. Trump to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.“At first, everyone was kind of enchanted by it,” Mr. Kim told NBC5 in Dallas-Forth Worth.”Now all the electors are starting to get beaten down. There are some electors who have been threatened with harm or with death.”
Michael Banerian, a Michigan elector and youth chairman of the state Republican Party, said he has received several messages threatening violence.
“You have people saying, ‘You’re a hateful bigot, I hope you die,’ ” Mr. Banerian told the Detroit News. “I’ve had people talk about shoving a gun in my mouth and blowing my brains out. And I’ve received dozens and dozens of those emails. Even the non-threatening-my-life emails are very aggressive.”
In fact, the threats became so bad in Idaho that Secretary of State Lawerence Denney had to issue a statement:
“While there is no federal requirement binding electors to their pledge, and while Idaho is one of 21 states that does not have state-level legislation to force an elector to comply, attempting to sway an elector’s commitment to their party through insults, vulgar language, or threats, simply lacks civility,” Mr. Denney said.
“These are people who have volunteered to represent our state and their party in a process that goes back to the founding of our nation,” he said. “If the presidential election had been different, the presidential electors would be from a different party and would still deserve the same respect. They don’t deserve to be mistreated by someone just because that person doesn’t agree with the outcome of the election.”
Despite the harassment, however, Republican electors seem to be standing firm:
“I’m getting deluged,” Michael McNeely, an elector and vice chairman of the Georgia GOP, told the Journal-Constitution. “But for all the efforts of those sending those out, there’s no wavering at all. I’m fully supporting Donald Trump, and I’m not concerned any of us will flip.”
Mr. Kim and Mr. Banerian insist there’s no chance they will heed the pleas of Democrats and abandon Mr. Trump.
“When people ask me to vote for Hillary Clinton, there’s no way,” Mr. Kim said. “I reject the Democratic Party principles, and I reject Hillary Clinton.”
Said Mr. Banerian, a senior at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan: “Even if I could, I wouldn’t be remotely interested in changing my vote. The people of Michigan spoke, and it’s our job to deliver that message.”