One of Michigan’s Electoral College voters has reportedly been receiving death threats over his vote for President-elect Donald Trump, including one from an old high school acquaintance of his.
As one of several so-called battleground states in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, Michigan was one of those states where the vote could have gone either way. But in the end, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan, with 16 Electoral College votes going the Republican candidate’s way. According to a report from the New York Times, Trump beat Clinton by 10,704 votes, a narrow win of under one-fourths of a percentage point in a battleground state.
Per Michigan state law, electors are required to vote for whoever wins the popular vote, ideally making things very cut-and-dry for Electoral College members. But one of those voters, 22-year-old Oakland University student Michael Banerian, has been under a lot of pressure from individuals who want him to switch allegiance and vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on December 19. And that pressure has been so intense that several people have supposedly made threats on his life.
According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Republican Party youth vice-chair Banerian filed a police report in his hometown of Bloomfield Township on December 1. He also related how the threats first started in the run-up to the elections, but ramped up in the weeks thereafter.
“I began receiving threatening messages a couple of days before the election and they trickled in the weeks following that. All of these threats, death wishes and generally angry messages were a direct response to my support for Donald Trump and being a Republican in general.”
Although Bloomfield Township authorities remained mum on the Michael Banerian issue, simply telling the Detroit Free Press that the case is still being looked into, the Michigan Electoral College voter did tell the publication that “hundreds” of people have posted angry messages on his Facebook wall since the election.
Last month, the Inquisitr cited Banerian as one of several U.S. electors receiving threats demanding that they change their vote, but those messages have apparently continued since then, despite Banerian’s pleas that Americans respect the electoral process and respect each other’s political beliefs.
Apart from the social media messages, Banerian has also been getting “an average of six to seven” threatening letters delivered to his home, and while he hasn’t been threatened in person, he said that one of those making threats was someone he had once attended school with.
“Unfortunately, one of the threats I received was from a student I went to high school with. I didn’t know him well then and I haven’t spoken to him in four years.”
Michael Banerian isn’t the only Michigan Electoral College member to affirm his support for Donald Trump amid threats from people who want him to change his vote. Speaking to FOX 17 West Michigan, elector Jack Holmes said that he is “very enthusiastic” about voting for Trump, citing state law as a motivating factor for his decision. The retired college professor added that he has indeed been getting threatening emails, letters, and phone calls demanding that he follow the popular vote and vote for Clinton instead, but said that he values his role as elector so much that he wouldn’t think of changing his vote.
“I’m bound to vote for Trump or I’m deemed to have resigned. I’m perfectly comfortable with that, because I think the will of the people should be reflected in what the elector does and how the elector votes. The will of the people is very important in this country.”
In the meantime, Michael Banerian remains a firm believer in Donald Trump and his plans for the presidency. He expects Trump to live up to his main promises, including a “full repeal” of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The youthful Michigan Electoral College voter added that he is looking forward to a “major” rollout of tax reforms, one that’s “unlike anything we’ve seen in decades.”
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