Pressure on members of the electoral college to select someone other than Donald Trump has grown dramatically — and noisily — in recent weeks, causing some to waver but yielding little evidence that Trump will fall short when electors convene in most state capitals Monday to cast their votes.
Carole Joyce of Arizona expected her role as a GOP elector to be pretty simple: She would meet the others in Phoenix and carry out a vote for Trump, who won the most votes in her state and whom she personally supported.
But then came the mail and the emails and the phone calls — first hundreds, then thousands of voters worrying that Trump’s impulsive nature would lead the country into another war.
“Honestly, it had an impact,” said Joyce, a 72-year-old Republican state committee member. “I’ve seen enough funerals. I’m tired of hearing bagpipes. . . . But I signed a loyalty pledge. And that matters.”
Such is the life these days for many of the 538 men and women who are scheduled to meet Monday across the country to carry out what has traditionally been a perfunctory vote after most every presidential election.
The role of elector has intensified this year, in the wake of a bitter election in which Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton by a margin of nearly 3 million votes and the revelation of a secret CIA assessment that Russia interfered to help Trump get elected.
Amid the uncertainty caused by Russian influence, 10 electors — nine Democrats and one Republican — asked for an intelligence briefing to get more information about Moscow’s role. Their request was endorsed by John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager.
“The administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19,” Podesta wrote Thursday in a Washington Post op-ed.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Friday evening that it would not brief the electors, because it is engaged in a presidentially ordered review of the Russian interference. “Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the intelligence community stands ready to brief Congress” and may release findings, the ODNI said in a statement posted to its website. CONTINUE