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Arizona’s electors unanimously vote for Trump

Protestors demonstrate outside the Arizona Capitol on December 19 ahead of the state's Electoral College electors' vote in favor of Donald Trump for president. (Photo by Luige del Puerto, Arizona Capitol Times)

Protestors demonstrate outside the Arizona Capitol on December 19 ahead of the state’s Electoral College electors’ vote in favor of Donald Trump for president. (Photo by Luige del Puerto, Arizona Capitol Times)

Arizona’s 11 Electoral College members unanimously voted for Republican Donald Trump.

The meeting of the electors Monday at the state Capitol came as members were inundated with emails, hundreds of letters and untold numbers of calls urging them not to cast their ballots for Trump.

The same pressure was being placed on Republican electors across the nation.

About 150 protesters marched around the Capitol mall in opposition to Trump.Ai??They carried signs that said, “Stop Trump,” ”Our electors should be our protectors” and “Hand picked by Putin ai??i?? what could go wrong.”

The state’s electors are all Republicans because Trump won the Arizona election with 49 percent of the vote compared with Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 45 percent. Electors are meeting in every state Monday.

They say the anti-Trump effort is a waste of time, and thatai??i??s a generous description of their reaction.

ai???We got a stack of letters from idiots,ai??? said elector Ed Robson, a Phoenix homebuilder.

All electors swore to party officials that they will back Trump, even though theyai??i??re not legally bound to do so, and plan to hold to that pledge.

ai???I look at it this way ai??i?? when youai??i??re asked to be an elector, itai??i??s an honor and you should be humbled that youai??i??re being selected to represent your party,ai??? said elector and retired nurse Carole Joyce. ai???And when itai??i??s a presidential candidate who won the election for your party I canai??i??t imagine anything but voting for that individual.ai???

The Arizona electors say they wonai??i??t be swayed by the protests or email and phone call deluge. Some have contacted other electors to urge them to stand firm, but others say thatai??i??s not necessary.

“I don’t think there’s any need for me to, because all the electors in Arizona, all 11, are voting for Donald Trump,’ said Jane Lynch, a longtime GOP activist and former state party official. “There’s no doubt about it, so there’s no need for me to reach out to anybody.”

The Associated Press tried to reach all 538 electors nationwide and was able to interview more than 330 of them. There appears to be little or no chance that Trump wonai??i??t win easily. Like in Arizona, many electors across the nation reported getting tens of thousands of emails, calls and letters asking them to vote against Trump.

The universal answer on changes to the Electoral College among Arizona electors was that it should be kept as is because it helps reflect the nation as a whole.

Bruce Ash and Robert Graham cast electoral votes for Donald Trump on December 19. (Photo by Luige del Puerto, Arizona Capitol Times)

Bruce Ash and Robert Graham cast electoral votes for Donald Trump on December 19. (Photo by Luige del Puerto, Arizona Capitol Times)

“I believe that the electoral college was one of the most forward-thinking ideas of the founders of this country,” said Bruce Ash, a Tucson businessman and Republican National Committee member. “It allows for the will of the people across the whole width and breath of this country to be properly represented in a presidential election. It is part of the reason that we have had the kind of leadership, both good and bad, through our country’s history.”

Arizona Republican electors have a recent history in holding their ground, even when it hurts their own party. In 2012, several party officials serving as Electoral College members for Arizona questioned President Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president, voicing concerns that later drew disavowals from then-Gov. Jan Brewer and another Republican elected officials.

All 11 Arizona electors cast their votes in 2012 for defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who won the state’s popular vote. The slots are awarded to states according to the size of their congressional delegations and generally go to party loyalists and activists.

Then-state Republican Party Chairman Tom Morrissey and two current or former GOP county chairmen spoke up during the 2012 ceremony to voice doubts about Obama’s eligibility as a native-born U.S. citizen.

“I am signing this document with concern about the legitimacy of the birth certificate that I have seen presented by Barack Hussein Obama,” Morrissey said at the time.

This year, the state’s electors are solidly behind the man who gathered the most electoral delegates on Nov. 8.

“I’m going to be voting for Donald Trump and the reason is, and I will give you the cliche ai??i?? he will make America great again, he is already,” Mesa resident and elector Sharon Giese said. “He’s doing a terrific job and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.”

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