More than 340 Mainers have written open letters to members of the Electoral College, most of them pleading for electors to nullify Republican Donald Trump’s Election Day victory.

Typical is one from Gracia Holt of Freeport who told electors, “You must not elect Donald Trump! He is mentally unbalanced, inexperienced, incapable of governing, guilty of fraud, and under the influence of a foreign tyrant!”

The letters, posted at asktheelectors.org, are among the nearly 200,000 online from people in every state who have taken advantage of the site’s call to “voice your concerns” to the 538 men and women who hold the constitutional responsibility of picking the next president.

Electors will gather Monday in their respective states to cast their votes for president and vice president. If they follow the Nov. 8 election results, Trump will have 306 electors, 36 more than he needs to take office.

But there are efforts afoot to try to sway electors to pick a third candidate instead, bypassing President-elect Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, who holds the rest of the electors. At least 10 electors, nine Democrats and one Republican, have already voiced support for the idea. There may well be others who are keeping a lower profile.

In the unlikely event that Trump fails to win a majority in the Electoral College, the next president would be chosen by the U.S. House of Representatives from among the contenders who got the three highest vote totals from electors.

In Maine, there are four electors, two representing Clinton for her statewide win and another from the 1st Congressional District, where the Democrat won easily. In the 2nd District, however, Trump carried the day and earned its one elector, state GOP Chairman Richard Bennett of Oxford.

The Democratic electors in Maine are Diane Denk in the 1st District and Samuel Shapiro and David Bright holding the at-large slots. They are slated to meet at 2 p.m. Monday in the House chamber in Augusta.

Maine’s electors are expected to vote for Trump and Clinton, but there is no penalty for failing to do so. Bright has said, though, that he might cast a ballot for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic senator from Vermont who lost a primary challenge to Clinton.

The letters to electors’ website allows anyone to send a private or public note. It doesn’t have any measures to verify the sender’s identity. Though it’s not obviously partisan, it’s been used mostly by people who oppose Trump.

Generally, those writing to the electors don’t suggest an alternative to Trump. They merely ask electors to block the New York City businessman.

Anne Smallidge from Blue Hill, for instance, told electors that at age 87 she is “seriously afraid” for the first time in her life.

She said Trump “has no experience in governing anything” and is surrounding himself with people who “are an antithesis to what their true role is.”

“Governing is not all about the money,” Smallidge said. “Governing is about overseeing the good of a country and its people. Please use the electoral process as honestly as your heart allows.”

While most of the open letters to electors oppose Trump for a variety of reasons, they’re not all against him.

Alan Vaccaro from Shapleigh, for instance, wrote that if Trump is rejected “we are sure to see a civil war. Americans spoke loudly this election. Electors have got to do their job and put Trump in office.”


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