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Jewish delegate to Electoral College labeled ‘anti-Semite’ by anti-Trump campaigners

Ahead of Monday’s vote, while chances of an electors uprising are getting slimmer, email campaigns become more heated

Amanda Borschel-Dan is The Times of Israel's Jewish World and Archaeology editor.

In this November 1, 2016, photo, a voter is reflected in the glass frame of a poster while leaving a polling site in Atlanta, during early voting ahead of the Nov. 8 election day. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
In this November 1, 2016, photo, a voter is reflected in the glass frame of a poster while leaving a polling site in Atlanta, during early voting ahead of the Nov. 8 election day. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

As the 538 Electoral College delegates prepare to cast their votes on Monday, anti-Trump protestors are pulling out all the stops — including labeling a Jewish Republican voter from Arizona an “anti-Semite” in a torrent of bulk emails.

Bruce Ash, Arizona’s GOP national committeeman and one of the state’s 11 electoral college voters, told the Arizona Republic that since the November 8 national elections, he has received hundreds of emails a day urging him to “go rogue” and vote against president-elect Donald Trump.

The “clone emails” are an attempt to suppress Trump votes and filled with hate speech, said Ash, who said that while he deletes one, another 10-15 arrive.

“They demonize me, they call me a homophobic, an isolationist, a bigot, a misogynist and an anti-Semite, which is interesting because I’m Jewish,” Ash said.

“They are hateful. And for a couple of days I answered them by thanking them and then explaining to them that I felt I had an obligation to the majority of the voters in Arizona who voted for him… and honoring their vote,” said Ash.

Arizona's GOP national committeeman Bruce Ash (courtesy)
Arizona’s GOP national committeeman Bruce Ash (courtesy)

For Ash, an uprising is unthinkable. Even ahead of the Republican convention this summer Ash told The Washington Times that Trump was not his first, second or even third choice for the nomination. However, he submitted a proposal to the national party that would “close and lock the back door to a hijacking of the nomination” by the #NeverTrump and “vote your conscience” Republican factions.

Trump took 49.7 percent of the Arizona popular vote, over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 45.4%. The Republican result was unsurprisingly: Since Harry Truman’s win in 1948, Arizona has only once voted Democrat in a presidential election — for Bill Clinton in 1996.

Unlike in some states, Arizona electors are not legally bound to vote for Trump, however the 11 Republican delegates pledged to support in affidavits submitted to the secretary of state, according to the Arizona Republic.

The state-by-state electoral college rules are confusing — even to electoral college voters themselves.

One of New Jersey’s 14 electoral college delegates, Hetty Rosenstein, told the New Jersey Jewish News that on November 9, she awoke feeling “horrible” that she would be forced to vote for Trump. A Democrat, Rosenstein was unaware that even though Trump won the national vote, because New Jersey had a Clinton majority, Rosenstein would cast her vote for Clinton.

Hetty Rosenstein, one of New Jersey's 14 electoral college voters. (YouTube screenshot)
Hetty Rosenstein, one of New Jersey’s 14 electoral college voters. (YouTube screenshot)

“I would go to jail before I vote for Donald Trump. I realize it’s an interesting thing to say since I don’t have to, but I would… The Jewish people have a real responsibility to not be racist and to take action against racism,” Rosenstein told NJJN, referring to the allegations of “dog-whistle racism” which clouded Trump’s campaign.

Chances of an electoral college uprising are slim according to “How Trump could still ‘unpresident’ himself,” a thorough, up-to-date December 17 Quartz article. “As unlikely as this whole scenario already is, it’s positively laughable that 38 Republican electors would vote for Hillary Clinton to win the presidency.”

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