The only Republican presidential elector in New England said some voters don’t realize the election is over.

Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett will cast a ballot for Donald Trump when the Electoral College votes Monday because Maine split its electoral votes for the first time. One district supported Trump in the election, while the other and the statewide tally favored Democrat Hillary Clinton. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that have such a system.

Bennett’s position as the only Republican elector from Maine to New Jersey has made him a target. He said he’s been flooded with emails, texts and phone calls urging him to withhold his support for Trump.

“There’s an overwhelming sense among the communication I’m receiving that the election is not over, that I should be a faithless elector and vote against the wishes of the people,” Bennett said.

That’s not going to happen, he said.

Bennett will join three Democratic electors – business consultant Sam Shapiro, organic farmer David Bright and former teacher Diane Denk – in formally casting Maine’s four electoral votes for president. Those three plan to vote for Clinton, although Bright and Denk were originally supporters of independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.


“We knew all along that Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not,” Bright said.

None of them report being harangued the way Bennett has.

Anti-Trump protesters are planning a demonstration to coincide with the electoral gathering at the Statehouse. While Bennett said he doesn’t feel physically threatened, he’s worried about efforts to disrupt the process in which a Republican will receive a Maine electoral vote for the first time since 1988. Capitol police will be on hand to keep the peace.

In Maine, the four electors are required to cast their ballot for the winner of the popular vote but there’s no penalty for a “faithless elector” who rejects the people’s will and votes for someone else. Two electoral votes are awarded for the statewide winner and one apiece is awarded for the winner of for the two congressional districts.

Trump concentrated his campaign efforts in Maine on the sprawling, rural 2nd Congressional District, which rewarded the New York businessman with one electoral vote even though Clinton won the 1st Congressional District and the statewide vote. The election marked the first time Maine’s electoral vote was split since the system was put in place for the 1972 election.

Bennett said he’s committed to following the people’s will.


“Our government is built on the rule of law, and I think we can lose a lot of elements of our democracy. But the one thing that will surely undermine any remaining fabric we have left is going to be flouting the rule of law,” he said.

Shapiro is the elector chairman, a position he’s held several times before. Even though he voted for Clinton, Shapiro said people need to give Trump a chance.

He has little patience for those who want to usurp the process.

“I served in the military and took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Trump is going to be the president, and I’ll support him, even if it means being in opposition to Democrats who’re trying to make a change,” he said.

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