Electors under siege

“I never can imagine harassing people like this. It’s just f—– up,” said Jim Rhoades, a Republican elector from Michigan who runs a home inspection service. “I’ve lost a bunch of business.”

In recent decades, the Electoral College had become such a reliable rubber stamp of Election Day results that it was viewed as an afterthought.

But with many Democrats desperate to block the all-but-certain ascension of Donald Trump to the White House, this long-neglected body has been gripped by turmoil, and its members have been subjected to pleas to upend centuries of tradition by casting their votes for someone other than the president-elect.

There have been ad campaigns targeting electors and op-eds assailing their role. One Democratic member of Congress has called to delay the vote for president while an investigation of Russian involvement in the election is underway. Two others have pleaded with electors to consider Russia’s role when deciding how to vote. Progressive groups are preparing protests across the country at sites where electors will meet to cast their ballots. Personal contact information for many electors has been posted publicly — and it’s been used to bury them with massive email campaigns.