The State of Pennsylvania released the personal information of GOP electors, leading to a wave of emails and phone calls which at least one elector described as “total harassment.” From PennLive:
The Department of State says certain information, including a list of Electoral College electors, is publicly available as part of the Pennsylvania Election Code. That list, provided by the president-elect or his representative, included the electors’ contact information, according to the department…
“Previously, the Pennsylvania Department of State redacted everything except for names for these types of requests,” said state GOP spokeswoman Megan Sweeney…
“These electors were never on the ballot, nor were they ever candidates,” Sweeney said. “Nevertheless, Governor Tom Wolf’s Department of State chose to break with precedent and release the phone numbers and home addresses of Pennsylvania’s twenty electors.”
One elector PennLive spoke to said she had received 18,000 emails plus letters and phone calls. She asked that her name not be used in the story to prevent further harassment. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Tribune review spoke to another GOP elector who is receiving a similar deluge:
Warren County’s Ash Khare, one of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, said he has received more than 13,000 such emails since the Nov. 8 election — including 1,000 on Thursday alone.
“My life has been turned upside down because I am an elector. I feel like it is total harassment,” said Khare, 68, who also received more than 100 phone calls and 500 letters, including one written in pencil by a 7-year-old.
So far none of the electors have reported anyone actually showing up at their home but the state GOP has contacted the FBI and encouraged electors to contact local police just in case. Even if the overwhelming majority of the messages are polite, the fact remains that the sheer volume of messages (100 phone calls!) is harassment. And Republican electors in several other states have reported threats. One of those electors, from Michigan, appeared on CNN to discuss threats he has received this week: