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Secretary of State: Idaho's Trump-Leaning Representatives to Electoral College Being Harassed


- Donald Trump was elected Nov. 8 as the 45th president of the United States. -  - GAGE SKIDMORE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
  • Donald Trump was elected Nov. 8 as the 45th president of the United States.
Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has a message for anyone who would harass electors charged with formalizing last week's election of Donald Trump as president of the United States: knock it off.

The Twin Falls Times-News reports Denney said Idaho Republican members of the U.S. Electoral College, who will gather with their national colleagues Monday, Dec. 19 to make Trump's election victory official, have been getting phone calls that have been "crossing into what could reasonably be considered harassment."

Callers have been trying to persuade GOP electors to change their votes, thus throwing a wrench into the Electoral College process and sending the ultimate decision to Congress.

While Trump bested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the number of electoral votes secured in the Nov. 8 election, thus winning the presidency, Clinton secured more of the popular vote—and the margin is growing wider, with as many as 7 million ballots remaining to be counted in states that leaned heavily toward the Democratic nominee.

The 2016 election is only the fifth time a U.S. presidential candidate won the popular vote but failed to garner the necessary 270 electoral votes to win, prompting widespread protest over Trump's victory.

"Attempting to sway an elector’s commitment to their party through insults, vulgar language, or threats, simply lacks civility,” said Denney. “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.”

Electors are first chosen by their respective parties based on the combined number of senators and representatives the state sends to Congress. In Idaho, that means four Republican and four Democratic electors were selected prior to the election. The slate of electors that goes to the Electoral College depends on which party's candidate won a plurality of votes in the state during the general election.

Because Trump handily won the popular vote in Idaho, GOP electors will be representing the Gem State in the Electoral College: former Canyon County state Sen. Melinda Smyser; Kootenai County GOP Precinct Committeewoman Jennifer Locke; Layne Bangerter, who served as Trump's Idaho campaign director; and Caleb Lakey, who was an alternate Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention.