Last week, social media supporters of Hillary Clinton passed around a spreadsheet listing the names and personal information of Electoral College voters. Helped along by news sites like Buzzfeed, Clintonites made hundreds of calls to EC delegates, hoping to persuade them to switch their vote to Clinton when the EC meets this month.
But that didn’t work so well. And so now, some Electoral College voters say, they’re receiving fewer attempts at persuasion, and more strong-arming—including the occasional death threat.
“At first everyone was kinda enchanted by it,” one Texas elector told local media. “Now all the electors are starting to get beaten down. There are some electors who have been threatened with harm or with death.”
In Georgia, things got bad enough that the Secretary of State issued a statement warning that Clinton supporters who harass Electors over the phone—including anyone who encouraged the practice —could be subject to dire consequences. In Arizona, Electors reported as many as 8,000 calls, some of which, they say, became “hateful.”
“They demonize me, they call me a homophobic, an isolationist, a bigot, a misogynist, and an anti-Semite, which is interesting because I’m Jewish,” one Arizona delegate told the Arizona Republic.
One Michigan Elector, Michigan Young Republicans Chairman Mike Banerian, was forced to file a police report after his voice mail filled up with terrifying messages. “You have people saying ‘you’re a hateful bigot, I hope you die,’ ” Banerian told the Detroit News.
“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.”
Banerian says he’s “not afraid,” and that he also won’t change his vote. Michigan, like many states, requires its slate of Electors to vote the way the state votes, and so while Clinton supporters might have a chance at persuading Electors in some other states, in Michigan, they’d be out of luck even without the death threats.
In Texas, they’re not backing down either. Elector Alex Kim says he’s been responding to the threats with a very simple message: “You may all go to hell, and I shall go to Texas.”