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Eye On Boise

Idaho’s four Trump electors report ‘barrage’ of harassing messages, urging them to change votes

Idaho’s four presidential electors have been getting harassing phone calls, emails and Facebook messages urging them to become “faithless electors” and not cast their votes for Donald Trump in the electoral college.

“A lot of ‘em use bad, rough language,” said Layne Bangerter, one of the four electors. “Nothing I feel intimidated over. But we’re watching it very closely. They’ve got our home phone numbers, our cell numbers, our emails, our Facebook. We’re just getting an orchestrated barrage from the left.”

Idaho’s other three Trump electors are Jennifer Locke of Coeur d’Alene; Caleb Lakey of Kuna and former state Sen. Melinda Smyser, R-Parma. “Caleb told me he had over 200 and something when he checked this morning,” Bangerter said.

Locke said, “It is concerning to me. It does feel like some level of intimidation.”

She said one message urged her to “vote for Jeb.” Others questioned Trump’s qualifications or charged sexism and racism. “They’re not even from this state – it’s Oregon, New York, California, Massachusetts, a lot of these is where I’m getting messages from,” she said.

Bangerter said he’s received around 40 messages on Facebook alone. “They attack my religion, they attack my politics, they tell me that I must be a terrible father, I must be a terrible American, they use foul language – every swear word,” he said. “They’re just trying to steal this thing. They won’t be able to do it, but they’re trying.”

You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said in a statement, "While there is no federal requirement binding electors to their pledge, and while Idaho is one of 21 states that does not have state-level legislation to force an elector to comply, attempting to sway an elector’s commitment to their party through insults, vulgar language or threats simply lacks civility.” Denney said if people want to provide input to the presidential electors, they can send a letter or email to his office, and he’ll provide it to the electors before they hold their formal meeting Dec.19.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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