Some Hillary Clinton supporters are so unable to come to terms with the result of the presidential election earlier this month that they’re threatening to kill Electoral College members who don’t vote for the Democratic candidate.
The Electoral College won’t meet to formally elect the president until mid-December. And there’s a growing campaign on the left attempting to use the time between now and then to sway electors into voting for Clinton even if they’d originally pledged for Trump.
The penalties for so-called “faithless electors” range from fines in some states to potential felony charges in others. In states like North Carolina, faithless elector votes are cancelled out and the elector is replaced.
What this means is that it’s pretty unlikely that anyone will convince members of the Electoral College to betray party pledges in any meaningful way.
Electors in several states say they’re being bombarded with requests that they vote for Clinton—but they remain uninterested in voting against their pledged candidate.
According to reports, this is making some of the anti-Trump crowd so desperate that they’re sending death threats to electors.
The problem got so bad in Georgia that officials were forced to issue a statement.
“The Presidential election is over but, unfortunately, the vitriol remains,” stated Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “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.”
Electors are being similarly harassed in other parts of the country.
A Texas elector named Alex Kim told a local NBC affiliate that he’s been hundreds of emails each day urging him to vote for Clinton when his state group convenes.
“At first everyone was kinda enchanted by it. Now all the electors are starting to get beaten down. There are some electors who have been threatened with harm or with death,” Kim told NBC 5.
As for whether he could be swayed, Kim said: “When people ask me to vote for Hillary Clinton, there’s no way. I reject the Democratic Party principles and I reject Hillary Clinton.”
A Michigan elector told the Detroit News that he’s been called a “hateful bigot” by people emailing about his pledged support for Trump. But the name calling is mild compared to some of the threats he’s received.
“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,” elector Michael Banerian said.
The widespread threats against U.S. electors aren’t representative of the broader Democratic Part or the Clinton campaign, since Clinton conceded the election without a hint of controversy. But they do represent a large chunk of the party’s progressive base, as evidenced by a petition which surfaced earlier this month demanding that electors rebuke Trump on the basis that he’s unfit to serve as president.
The petition currently has nearly 5 million signatures.
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