Wisconsin's GOP Electors Stick with Trump, Ignore Protester Objections

Dec 19, 2016

Wisconsin's ten electors cast ballots Monday to help install Donald Trump as President
Credit Marti Mikkelson

At the state Capitol on Monday, a couple hundred people packed into a tiny hearing room, while the state's 10 Republican electors took their seats at the front.

They selected Brad Courtney of the state Republican Party to lead the proceedings. He laid out the ground rules: “No signs are allowed in the meeting. Please keep conversation to a minimum. If there are any loud conversations or disruptions, we ask that you please take those outside.” But, all wasn’t quiet, after a clerk distributed ballots, the electors voted, and Courtney read the results.

“The votes are: ten votes Donald J. Trump,” Courtney stated.

Demonstrators yelled "shame" among other slogans. Police escorted one woman out of the room, while she screamed “this is my America.”

One person pleased with the results of the vote is Keith Best, with the Republican Party of Waukesha County. He says he first supported Gov. Walker for President, then when he dropped out, Marco Rubio and then Ted Cruz. Best says even though Trump wasn’t his first choice, he’s convinced he’ll make a good president.

“The more I’ve learned about him, the more I realize that he’s what I want and see in a president and I like that he’s picking out good cabinet members,” Best says.

But, Best says he’ll hold Trump’s feet to the fire. “Absolutely, because I want to see the wall built. I want to see everything he promised come to fruition, at least most of it. I’d say if he comes through with 75 percent I’ll be happy,” Best says.

Protesters marched in the rotunda
Credit Marti Mikkelson

Some protesters drove up from Illinois, because their state went for Hillary Clinton, so they knew their electors were voting for her on Monday. Diane Mussar says she traveled from a Chicago suburb because she was hoping to change the minds of Wisconsin’s Republican electors. Mussar says she fears Trump will eliminate the safety net for disadvantaged Americans.

“For my clients that I take care of this is immense because they will have a lot of their benefits cut down to absolutely nothing because they are extremely low already,” Mussar says.

Trump has not detailed plans to cut benefits.

Another person visiting from Chicago is Shawn O’Donnell. He says he plans to continue to make his voice heard throughout Trump’s presidency.

“I think we’re going to have to do more than walk around with signs. I think it’s going to have to get ugly after a while. I think sit-ins nationally and locally,” O’Donnell says.

O’Donnell says he’ll also use social media to voice his concerns.

Wisconsin’s ten electors declined interviews. However, leader Brad Courtney did not seem upset about the disruptions that occurred during the proceedings. In brief comments afterward, he called the protests “democracy at work.”