Detractors of Donald Trump want to stop him from becoming president by pressuring state electors from voting for him in December, and one state official is calling it “harassment.”
Phoenix Fox 10 reported Tuesday night that an attempt is being made to urge Arizona’s 11 members of the Electoral College to vote against Trump when they convene next month.
The electoral college is composed of 538 electors from both parties who are slated to convene in their state capitols on December 19 to cast votes for the individual who won their state primary. Efforts in states that went for Trump are underway to change the minds of the minds of electors across the country — including in Colorado, Ohio, Arizona, and Idaho.
“On Thursday, I started getting phone calls and e-mails at home and on my personal accounts telling me that we should basically abstain from voting for Trump for all these reasons,” Alberto Gutier, a long-time Republican and director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, told Fox 10.
Gutier, who received over 300 e-mails through his work email on the matter, says he has no plans to change his vote and that he pledged to support whoever won his state’s primary.
Garrett Monti, an elector in Louisiana said on his Facebook page that he received at least 500 emails urging him to change his vote against Trump.
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney became annoyed with individuals contacting four electors from the state to change their votes, saying the calls are “crossing into what could reasonably be considered harassment.”
“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,” Denney, who heads up the state’s elections, said in a statement to Magic Valley.com.
“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. 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.”
Michael Baca of Colorado and P. Bret Chiafalo of Washington state launched the “Moral Electors” initiative in an attempt to convince 37 other Republican electors to turn their backs on Trump. The number would be enough to stop Trump’s election and leave the final decision to the House of Representatives. Robert Satiacum, an elector from Washington State, supports the effort.
However, turning electors to vote against Trump will not be an easy task and has never happened before in the history of the electoral colleges. The leaders of the movement to bail on Trump admit it ‘s a “longshot” to succeed.
Republican elector Alex Triantafilou of Ohio told CBS News that “hundreds” have contacted him asking to not vote for Trump.
“I’m a party guy,” Triantafilou said of calls for him to change his vote. “They’re wasting their time, and they’re only making me stronger in my resolve to go and cast my electoral vote with the voters of Ohio.”