Presidential electors around the country are being harassed and threatened as part of a last-minute Democratic campaign to block the election of Donald Trump.
Democrats were in shock after Trump won the election last Tuesday but with Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote Democrats have now turned on the electoral college. This week outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation to amend the U.S. Constitution and remove the electoral college. Meanwhile, anti-Trump groups have been circulating lists with personal information of the actual electors and encouraging people to pressure them into becoming “faithless electors,” i.e. not voting for Trump even though he won the election in their state. The results have been predictable.
In Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp issued a statement today asking people to stop threatening his state’s electors:
Our office has received numerous reports of individuals hurling insults and threats at Georgia’s Electors because they are unsettled with America’s choice for President of the United States. This is absolutely unacceptable and those participating in or encouraging these efforts should stop. The electoral process in America has worked, and everyone – Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and others – should respect the will of Georgia’s voters and the Electors who represent them.
Idaho‘s Secretary of State made similar comments earlier in the week after reports that the state’s four electors were being barraged with harassing calls and messages. From the Spokesman-Review:
“A lot of ’em use bad, rough language,” said Layne Bangerter, one of the four electors. “Nothing I feel intimidated over. But we’re watching it very closely. They’ve got our home phone numbers, our cell numbers, our emails, our Facebook. We’re just getting an orchestrated barrage from the left.”…
Bangerter, who worked for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo for more than a decade, said he’s received around 40 messages on Facebook alone. “They attack my religion, they attack my politics, they tell me that I must be a terrible father, I must be a terrible American, they use foul language – every swear word,” he said. “They’re just trying to steal this thing. They won’t be able to do it, but they’re trying.”
In Tennessee, electors told the Tennessean they were receiving 200 emails a day:
Several members of Tennessee’s Electoral College delegation told The Tennessean this week they’ve received as many as 200 emails per day and a handful of phone calls. Electors in other states told the Tennessean they too have received similar barrages of email.
“Certainly I would call it harassment,” said Pat Allen of Clarksville, Tennessee’s Electoral College representative for the 7th Congressional District.
In Arizona, electors say they are facing “total harassment” from mostly out-of-state emails. From the Arizona Republic:
Robert Graham, chairman of the state Republican Party and an elector, said the emails are mostly coming from out of state and appear to be part of a coordinated effort to try to deny Trump the presidency by swaying enough electors to back anyone but him…
“It is total harassment,” said Graham, who estimates he has received about 1,700 such emails and letters. “It started about a week ago. Now? Bam. It’s hardcore.”…
Sharon Geise, an elector from Mesa, said the emails have also flooded her inbox. She estimates she has received 8,000. Many of them are similar.
“Hillary’s got a great campaign going,” she said. “It’s the same thing, pretty much. Basically: Vote for Hillary Clinton. It’s bizarre. I don’t dare answer my phone.”
A similar flood of harassing emails was received by an elector in Iowa.
Meanwhile, in Michigan 22-year-old elector Michael Banerian has been receiving death threats. From the Detroit News:
“You have people saying ‘you’re a hateful bigot, I hope you die,’ ” he said. “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.”
The Detroit News verified one message containing a death wish and another containing a death threat, in which the person told Banerian he would “put a bullet” in his mouth. Banerian said he deleted the rest of the emails and messages “because as you can imagine they’re clogging up my email.”
This harassment of Republican electors is not going to change the outcome of the election. In sheer volume, this harassment of Republicans certainly outweighs the heavily-reported hate incidents being collected by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Will the national media pick up on these incidents of death threats and harassment as well, all of which explicitly stem from a left-wing campaign to alter the outcome of the election? Don’t count on it.
Here’s a local news interview with Michael Banerian: