Don’t expect surprises from Ohio’s Electoral College voters


TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The people who make up the Electoral College in Ohio don’t have much choice because they’re bound by a state law that requires electors to vote for the nominee of the party that appointed them.

Not that it matters anyway. All 18 of the electors were selected by Donald Trump’s campaign and are expected to cast their votes for him for president when the Electoral College meets Monday.

None of the electors contacted by The Associated Press last week say they intend to back Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich or anyone else in some sort of anti-Trump protest. Most think it’s their duty to vote in a way that represents the decision made by the people of the state.

“If that’s what you signed up for, you should honor your obligation,” said Ralph King, a first-time elector and an organizer for Citizens For Trump in the Cleveland area. “If you’re a Republican you should vote like a Republican.”

Going with the voters is the responsible choice, said Mary Ann Christie, a former mayor in Madeira, a Cincinnati suburb.

“If you don’t do that you might as well forget that you’re in the Republican Party. No one will trust you again,” she said.

State Rep. Christina Hagan, another first-time elector, said she thinks every person must vote their conscience while also believing electors have a civic duty to abide by the law.

“Fortunately in my case, I can do both simultaneously,” said Hagan, a Republican from Alliance.

All of the electors say they’ve been swamped by emails, letters, Facebook messages and phone calls from people trying to convince them to change their votes. One plea came in a Christmas card sent to Judy Westbrock, an elector from Centerville, near Dayton. “It caught my eye,” but won’t influence her vote, she said.

Some were contacted by supporters of Kasich, who last week dismissed the idea and said that he is not a candidate for president and that it was time for the country to come together. But most of the pleas have come from Hillary Clinton supporters who contend the Democrat should win the presidency because she won the nation’s popular vote. Trump got 51 percent of the vote in Ohio to Clinton’s 43 percent.

Ohio elector Tom Coyne, a lifelong Democrat who endorsed Trump this year, said there are very few scenarios where he could imagine casting a vote for a candidate that is at odds with their state’s vote.

“I can’t think of any reason unless between the election and the Electoral College vote, they commit treason,” said Coyne, mayor of Brook Park, a Cleveland suburb. “Short of that, I can’t see any reason.”