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Michigan Electors Cast Votes For Trump

Dec 20, 2016

Protests and a national campaign to convince presidential electors to vote for anyone but President-elect Donald Trump did nothing to change the result in Michigan. 


While traditionally the electors – who are chosen by the state’s winning party – vote for the state’s winner, some protesters tried to urge them to break tradition.  

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the state Capitol for speeches and chants before going into the Capitol an hour before the Electoral College met. 

Jessica Prozinski is a founder of Stop Trump Ann Arbor.  She said president-elect Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency.  Prozinski said the electors have a “constitutional obligation to keep Trump out of office.”

“They could pick anyone else," she said. "Anyone but Trump.  Trump is very, very dangerous for our society, for our democratic traditions, and I think honestly even for the world and I don’t think that is hyperbole.”

Doug Mallory drove from Brighton to the Capitol for the protest.  He said, a Republican won the election, so a Republican should be president--just not Donald Trump. 

“I feel like we have an opportunity to use the fail-safe that the government and the founding fathers set up for us,” he said.  “And that fail-safe is the Electoral College.”

Electors said they got thousands of letters and e-mails from across the country, but John Haggard said he never gave a thought to casting his ballot for anyone other than Trump. 

“Why would I waver?” he said. 

But Republican elector Jack Holmes said he voted the way he wanted to vote. 

“I think it was time to do something different,” he said.  “I think Donald Trump represented something different, something that needed to be done, and the kind of leadership we need in this country.” 

But state law says electors who don’t support the nominee who won the general election are automatically replaced.  The electors were chosen last summer at a state Republican Party convention.

Michigan Republican Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said there was never any danger of electors defecting. 

“They were solid for our president, Donald J. Trump, our president-elect, and (Vice-president-elect) Mike Pence, so we had no concerns today that they would cast their votes any other way.” 

McDaniel, the niece of 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, is Trump’s choice to lead the Republican National Committee next year. 

The Electoral College vote capped the closest presidential race in Michigan history, and the first won by a Republican in 28 years. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org