Kansas electors get emails ahead of Electoral College vote

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Kansans who will cast presidential and vice presidential Electoral College votes have been getting scores of emails ahead of the Dec. 19 vote.

Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold and outgoing state Rep. Mark Kahrs, R-Wichita, have each received more than 25,000 emails, The Hutchinson News reported. Republican Ashley McMillan Hutchinson, of Concordia, responded to some of the emails flooding her inbox until they crashed the email server last weekend.

“I receive around 500 emails an hour, 20 pieces of snail mail a day (this has slowed), phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, and linked-in messages,” Hutchinson wrote in an email response to the newspaper on Saturday.

There are 538 electors, and Kansas’ six is based on the state’s combined seats in the U.S. Senate and House.

Because Republican Donald Trump won 57 percent of the vote in Kansas, the GOP slate of electors will cast the state’s electoral votes. Electors in some states risk a penalty if they defect from the candidate who won the popular vote in their state. Kansas electors are not bound by law or under threat of penalty if they switch, making them ripe for petition circulators.

More than 20,000 emails flowed into Kahrs’ Kansas House email account, and senders found other online addresses for him, too.

“I’m getting dozens of actual letters, too,” he said.

Arnold said some messages urge him to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, to abstain or to vote for another Republican, such as 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney or for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

“I can’t figure it out,” Arnold said. Some want to send the election to the U.S. House for resolution, but Republicans control the House, so it’s a moot point, he said.

Another elector, Topeka Republican Helen Van Etten, said some of those sending communications are from Kansas, but 99 percent are not Republicans.

The Kansas electors are not easily moved, however.

“The party selects as its slate of electors only people who are 100 percent reliable to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote,” said Clayton Barker, Kansas Republican Party executive director and an elector.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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