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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A presidential elector from Arizona is talking to ChurchMilitant.com about how he is being harassed into being an "unfaithful" elector.
James O'Connor — the Republican chairman of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Rio Verde — is one of 538 presidential electors who will elect the president of the United States on December 19. He told ChurchMilitant.com about how people have been bombarding his email account in an attempt to dissuade him from casting his electoral vote for Donald Trump.
After the presidential elections on November 8, the electors' names were publicly released, and people found their personal information on the internet. O'Connor says by noon on Thursday his email box was becoming inundated with email — the vast majority asking him to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton, and some asking him to vote for "anybody but Trump."
The following week his email was deluged with more messages, beginning with about 100 per hour, progressing to between 300–400 per hour by November 18. On Monday he received 97, Tuesday 1,500, Wednesday 2,300, Thursday 3,800 and Friday 4,900 — more than 12,000 emails in all.
During that time he also received more than 100 phone calls. One he answered was from a young woman in New York, complaining that Trump will eliminate Obamacare and she won't have her birth control paid for.
O'Connor commented, "These people are so lost. They don't know the Constitution, they don't know how anything works."
He described the elector voting process. "We don't go into a voting booth and receive a ballot that has got Hillary's name on it or a line for write-in candidates."
"We will show up at the state capitol building and we will execute, that is sign, what looks very much like a proclamation," he explained.
It's a single sheet of paper bearing the state seal and containing one paragraph with the text: "We the duly elected below signed electors hereby elect Donald J. Trump," followed by 11 blank lines beneath bearing the printed name of each elector for them to sign their names.
He noted that there simply is no opportunity for someone to discuss other options or vote for someone else.
O'Connor divulged that the state Republican Party chairman told the electors at a meeting on November 16 that if anybody was planning on abstaining from voting they should tell him then. He would then appoint a different elector willing to sign the document. The chairman also added that if an elector shows up on December 19 and does not agree to sign the document — making a public scene — he will be removed from the ceremony and replaced with another Republican who will sign the document.
O'Connor estimates there is "zero risk" that any Arizona electors will be able to change the way the vote is supposed to be carried out.
He said if George Soros wanted to give him $1 billion to vote for somebody other than Trump, "I would not take it." He continued, "If Clinton's goons wanted to put a bullet through my head, I would execute [cast his vote] for Trump and then take the bullet; I stand on principal."
"I know Donald Trump is not a sinless man — we don't have any of those on the planet, we had one and we crucified Him," he said. "We can only elect a fallen human being."
O'Connor noted that the emails have not yet been threatening, but he expects they will as it gets closer to December 19, "when the guys really running, orchestrating this show, when they recognize that we are not responding to them, then they'll get heavy."
Other Arizona electors agree with O'Connor's remarks, saying that elector harassment is growing. Bruce Ash noted, "They demonize me, they call me a homophobic, an isolationist, a bigot, a misogynist, and an anti-Semite, which is interesting because I'm Jewish."
Fifteen states do not bind their electors to vote according to the people's vote; Arizona is one of them. The other states are Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Michigan elector Michael Banerian revealed, "You have people saying 'you're a hateful bigot, I hope you die.'"
"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," he continued. "Even the non-threatening-my-life emails are very aggressive."
He maintained, however, that he will not capitulate "Even if I could, I wouldn't be remotely interested in changing my vote. ... The people of Michigan spoke, and it's our job to deliver that message."
Texas elector Alex Kim is also being threatened. "I had no idea it would be like this," he commented. "When people ask me to vote for Hillary Clinton, there's no way. I reject the Democratic Party principles, and I reject Hillary Clinton."
A national group of patriots called the Oath Keepers is volunteering to protect electors before and after the vote in December. It is a group of current and formerly serving military, police and first responders who pledge to keep their oath to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
The founder and president of the group, Stewart Rhodes, is announcing that "Oath Keepers is hereby issuing a standing offer of volunteer protection to any of the Electoral College Electors who may feel threatened or in danger from leftist radicals attempting to coerce them into changing their vote as Electors."
Rhodes declared, "Any attempt to intimidate and coerce an Elector, through threats of violence, is an act of terrorism, just as much as an attempt to coerce the voters on Election Day would have been terrorism."
"We expect to see such horrid behavior from the likes of ISIS or in some Third-World dictatorship where people have guns held to their heads and are ordered to vote for 'El Presidente' ... 'or else,'" he continued. "But now we are seeing the same kind of political terrorism here, at home. This is un-American and unacceptable."
O'Connor added, "What a privilege it is to serve as an elector on the electoral college."