- Associated Press - Saturday, December 17, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah’s six Republican presidential electors say they will all cast their votes next week for Donald Trump, as required under state law, but they’re being flooded with letters, calls and even full-page ads in Salt Lake City’s two newspapers urging them to vote for someone else.

Jeremy Jenkins, an elector from Logan, said he’s been inundated with letters and emails from people - almost all out of state - urging him to vote for Clinton, someone else, or abstain.

“I don’t really care what people in Berkeley, California think,” said Jenkins. He said the only letter he may respond to is one that came from a Utah resident.

Electors around the country are facing a similar deluge. Associated Press interviews with more than 330 electors from both parties found they too were receiving tens of thousands of pleas that the revolt, citing arguments that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and that Trump isn’t fit to be president.

While Trump lost the national popular vote, he won enough states to collect 306 electoral votes. It takes 270 to be president. Of the electors surveyed, only one Republican told the AP he won’t vote for Trump.



Utah law requires the state’s electors, chosen by Republican delegates at the state convention earlier this year, to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in the state. If they cast a vote for anyone else, the state treats it a resignation and the elector is replaced.

Jenkins voted for Trump in the general election. When asked who he’ll support Monday when the electors gather to cast their vote?

“Definitely for Donald,” he said. “Enthusiastically.”

In interviews, Utah’s other five electors all largely agreed and said they will vote for Trump as required by law.

Richard Snelgrove, a Salt Lake County Council member serving as an elector, said he’s received dozens of letters, thousands of emails and countless phone calls urging him to vote for Clinton or abstain.

Many sent well-written or polite appeals and a handful were rude or borderline threatening, Snelgrove said.

Snelgrove previously served as an elector in 2008, when John McCain won Utah, but back then, he didn’t receive a similar wave of people contacting him about his vote.

Snelgrove voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich during Utah’s March presidential caucus and wrote in the name of another Republican - he won’t say who - in the November election instead of casting a vote for Trump.

If he were free to vote as he wanted, Snelgrove said he’d still pick Trump over Clinton because he feels the president-elect is more capable. But more importantly, he said electors need to reflect the voters in their states.

“No one chose me as king, where I can go off and defy the will of the people,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to this report.

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