Republican elector says he has gotten threats after email urged him to vote for Clinton over Trump

Posted at 6:35 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 23:07:43-05

Ever since the presidential election, many Michigan Republican electors have been getting messages from residents trying to persuade them to vote for Hillary Clinton. Those message stating Clinton won the national popular vote.

Michael Banerian, one of the state’s 16 Republican electors, says some of the messages are vulgar.

“I have received a lot of aggressive, angry, hateful messages from people who frankly don’t understand our election process,” he says.

Michael says what many who have sent him emails and messages don’t understand: When voters cast their ballots, they are actually voting for a presidential candidate’s party of electors.

“So, if you voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence, you were voting for me and 15 other electors.  If you voted for Hillary Clinton and Kaine you were voting for the Democratic electors,” said Michael.

In this case, the majority in Michigan voted for the Republican electors to vote for the Donald Trump on December 19th.

So in this state, pleading with Republican electors to change their vote, let alone threatening them, will get you nowhere.

“If we wanted to, we still couldn’t do it by Michigan law,” said Michael.  “I don’t want to change my vote. I’m very happy voting for Donald Trump, casting that electoral vote.”

Michael, who is a member of the Republican party, told 7 Action News he was voted an elector by the party this summer. Once that happened, it became public knowledge and he is proud to be a public servant.

While he has gotten a lot of unwanted, aggressive messages, he has also had a handful of exchanges that turned life-threatening.

“I think a lot of people think that because they are doing it on the other end of keyboard it’s somehow okay.  It’s different from threatening someone in person,” said Michael. “Well its not. It’s never okay to do something like that.”

According to Michael, who is a student at Oakland University, many of the messages have come from young adults or teens and he does not want to ruin anyone’s future by pressing charges. 

But he has one message for those who have gotten too aggressive with him.

“First, I would say to the people who are sending those emails, these threats, they need to stop,” said Michael. “I mean, frankly there is no other way to put it. I would say these people are acting un-American.  It’s not American to be an engaged individual and then threaten somebody you have a difference of opinion.”