After a hard-fought election and a recount effort in Pennsylvania that went nowhere, the state’s 20 representatives to the Electoral College meet in Harrisburg Monday to cast their votes for Donald Trump.
Nobody’s paid much attention to Electoral College votes in the past, but, this year, electors have been bombarded with calls, emails and letters from people urging them not to vote for Trump.
“I’ve got bags and bags of mail. I’ve got more mail than Santa,” said Gloria Lee Snover, a Trump elector and GOP chair of Northampton County. “They call my office. They call my husband’s office.”
The gathering of electors in Harrisburg is enough of a formal ceremony that they actually have a rehearsal beforehand.
There’s a procession into the State House chamber, where electors are sworn in on engraved Bibles of their own choosing. (Ash Khare, an Indian-born elector from Warren County, will have a sacred Hindu text.)
After the votes are recorded, the electors will be treated to reception at the governor’s residence, hosted by Gov. Tom Wolf and his wife.
“I’m honored, I’m thrilled. I don’t care that he’s a Democrat,” Snover said. “I’m excited to meet the governor.”
Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh is another elector. She estimated she’s gotten 60,000 emails in her personal account, and about as many at her county office.
“In the beginning, they were asking me to vote for Hillary,” Welsh said.
“Then some would ask me to vote for anybody but Donald Trump. Now the latest ones are accusing me of being involved with the Russians,” she said with a laugh.
Snover said she’s impressed with the efforts to influence her vote.
“I have a lot of hand-written mail, and I appreciate that they’re taking the time and effort to do that,” she said. “I think that’s good, but I have a duty to carry out the will of the voters of Pennsylvania.”
Trump carried the state by 44,292 votes, about three-fourths of one percent.
Lawyers for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein waged an unsuccessful, two-week legal battle to get a statewide recount and an inspection of voting software for evidence of hacking.
A survey by the Associated Press found none of the commonwealth’s 20 electors willing to reconsider their votes.