Locke it up for Trump

Idaho electors stick with the winner of the state’s popular vote

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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, right, and presidential electors, second from right to left, Jennifer Locke, Caleb Lakey, Skip Smyser and Rod Beck listen to electoral vote process instructions from Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, left, on Monday.

Six-thousand emails, a trash bag full of letters and a bombardment of Facebook messages weren't enough to sway Jennifer Locke.

Locke, a Kootenai County resident and one of Idaho's four Electoral College voters, checked her ballots Monday in front of a horde of supporters and protesters at the Capitol building.

The Republican committeewoman of Precinct 13 had no intention of deviating from her party's candidate.

"I had no problem casting my vote because Donald Trump is someone I've been supporting," said Locke, who was deluged by phone calls with anti-Trump sentiments.

Neither did fellow voters Rod Beck, Skip Smyser or Caleb Lakey, who, along with Locke, voted for the president-elect and his running mate, Mike Pence.

It took just minutes for Idaho's four Republican electors — each appointed by their party — to confirm the Trump/Pence ticket as the winner of Idaho's four Electoral College votes, six weeks removed from their Election Day triumph Nov. 8.

The House and Senate will meet Jan. 6 to count the country's 538 electorate votes and announce the winner. The 45th president will be sworn into office Jan. 20.

Trump's 304 electoral votes bested Hillary Clinton's 224 (Hawaii had yet to be counted) while "faithless" voters opted for other candidates. Prior to Monday, there have been 157 "faithless electors" in history, according to the secretary of state's office, none of whom has ever changed the outcome of an election by going rogue.

Idaho is one of 21 states which doesn't force an elector, by law, to vote for their party's nominee.

Traditionally a red state, Idaho wasn't devoid of discontent Monday, according to Locke, who saw protesters inside and outside the Capitol building.

"It was civil. (Gov. Butch) Otter made sure things didn't get out of line," she said. "He didn't allow them to have signs in the room. He didn't want signs or any intimidation. One lady yelled ‘Shame on you’ to us as she walked out of the room."

In the days after Trump's Election Day win, Locke was drilled with thousands of messages — internet, mail and phone — from all over the world, requesting a non-Trump electoral vote.

"I wasn't threatened like I hear some voters were," she said.

As wild of a ride as it was for Locke, she was thankful for the opportunity to help elect the next president.

"I am glad it's over," she said. "But it was an amazing experience. I'm just kind of an average citizen, so it was great to be able to do this."

Electors are people chosen by their state political parties and are often state party leaders or elected officials.

Locke

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