There are some Republican members of the Electoral College who wish they were not voting for President-elect Donald Trump on Monday.
However, an Associated Press survey of more than 300 electors has found that Trump opponents’ dreams to use the Electoral College as the final place to block Trump’s ascent to the White House have little hope of becoming reality.
Although the electors admit to an unprecedented wave of pleas to change their votes, AP noted that electors cited everything from the law, to duty, to loyalty to cast their votes for Trump.
Trump won 306 electoral votes on election night, far above the 270 needed to win election Monday, when the electors will gather in their respective state capitals to vote.
For Trump to lose, at least 37 electors would need to forsake him. AP reported that only one Republican elector told AP he won’t vote for Trump.
Many are solidly behind the president-elect.
“Hell will freeze and we will be skating on the lava before I change,” said Republican Tom Lawless of Tennessee. “He won the state and I’ve pledged and gave my word that that’s what I would do. And I won’t break it.”
Republican elector Jim Skaggs of Kentucky said he will swallow his concerns and vote for Trump.
“His personality worries me,” Skaggs said. “He is not open-minded. I hope he is far better than I think he is.”
Misgivings aside, he said, “I fully intend to vote for Donald Trump. I think it’s a duty.”
Although being an elector is usually a very low-key role in America’s political process, electors told AP that has not been the case with Trump’s election.
“Let me give you the total as of right now: 48,324 emails about my role as an elector,” said Brian Westrate of Wisconsin. “I have a Twitter debate with a former porn star from California asking me to change my vote. It’s been fascinating.”
— Brian Westrate (@BrianWestrate) December 13, 2016
Although efforts to stop Trump have been organized, they have not been effective, said some electors.
“We got a stack of letters from idiots,” said Republican elector Edward Robson of Arizona.
Fellow Arizona GOP elector Carole Joyce said the deluge has been profound.
“They’ve caused me great distress on my computer, that’s for sure,” she said.
“I average anywhere from a thousand to 3,000 emails a day. And I’m getting inundated in my regular mailbox out front — anywhere from 17 to 35 letters a day coming from Washington state, Oregon, all around the country. Hand-written, some of them five or six pages long, quoting me the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, asking me again out of desperation not to vote for Donald Trump,” she said.
Joyce was philosophical about the fuss.
“… that’s their right,” she said. “I’ve had nothing threatening, I’m happy to say. The election is over. They need to move on.”
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