WASHINGTON — The presidential transition is getting uglier – and dangerous.
A Republican member of the electoral college from Michigan says he is receiving death threats from Clinton supporters for his pledged support to President-elect Donald Trump.
“You have people saying ‘You’re a hateful bigot, I hope you die,’” the elector, Michael 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.”
The Detroit News has confirmed one of the death threats against Banerian, who is 22 and is the youth vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party. He will vote in the electoral college Dec. 19.
“They disturb me,” Banerian said of the threats. “But I wouldn’t say I’m afraid.”
The threats won’t change how he votes, he told the newspaper.
“Even if I could, I wouldn’t be remotely interested in changing my vote,” he told the newspaper. “The people of Michigan spoke, and it’s our job to deliver that message.”
Michigan electors are not allowed to change their votes; if they do vote for a different candidate, a different elector will step in and cast a vote for the pledged candidate.
Banerian even penned a column under the headline, “In face of death threats, I’m still voting for Trump.”
“There seems to be some confusion among many as to how our election system actually works,” he wrote. “Let’s start here: there is no such thing as a national popular vote. Elections are held at the state level, not the federal level, with each state choosing a statewide popular vote to determine the winner of its electoral votes. To say that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote is a null argument; taking the results of each individual state (which all have different election laws) and combining them into a singular ‘national popular vote’ means nothing.”
Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein has raised $4 million to fund a recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Additionally, around 4.3 million people have signed a Change.org petition urging Trump electors to vote for Clinton.
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