Angst Over Electoral College Simmers Days Before Vote

Dec 15, 2016

Members of the Electoral College will meet on Monday to cast their votes for President of the United States. Meanwhile movements are surging around the country to try to get Republican electors not to vote for Donald Trump.

People unhappy with Trump’s victory last month have rallied, petitioned, and posted pleas on social media encouraging Utah’s members of the Electoral College not to cast a vote for the president-elect.

Daniel Brezenoff is a social worker in California, but he started an online petition that’s garnered nearly 5 million signatures. And he penned a letter to members of the electoral college that appeared in Utah’s daily newspapers earlier this week. It asks them not to vote for Trump on Monday.

“Our open letter is letting them know that millions of Americans affirm their right to vote their conscience and that this is the time to do that,” Brezenoff says, “to stop Donald Trump from becoming commander in chief.”

Utah law requires electors to vote for the candidate that carried the state. If they vote for another candidate, the vote won’t be counted and the elector will be replaced.

Cherilyn Eagar is one of Utah’s six Republican electors. While she’s received hundreds of letters and messages asking her to reconsider, Eagar says she’ll proudly cast her vote for Donald Trump on Monday.

“The reason why we have an electoral college is so the smaller states such as Utah are not overlooked,” she says.

Though Trump did not win the popular vote, Eagar says she thinks most Utahns respect the process of choosing electors to vote in a president.

“There is no election system that is going to be flawless,” she says, “but you don’t change the rules of the game—not even the NFL does—in the middle of it.”

Eagar and the five other electors will probably endure a few more days of calls, letters and emails before they cast their votes on Monday at the state capitol.