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Electoral College vote: Protesters urge Georgia GOP electors to defy Trump

Dozens of protesters gathered outside Georgia's statehouse Monday to urge the state's 16 Republican electors to back another candidate and defy Donald Trump.

The last-ditch demonstration was likely to be fruitless: There was no sign of dissent among the electors, a group of stalwart GOP activists and early Trump supporters.

Still, Trump critics chanting "this is what democracy looks like" aimed to make a late appeal as they circled Liberty Plaza. They are making a last stand as electors convene in statehouses around the nation for the Electoral College vote to formally make Trump president.

"I am here because I am afraid for our country. I am afraid for minorities. I am afraid for gays and lesbians and for women," said Valerie Gilbert, one of the demonstrators. "And I am hoping that the electors will have a last-minute change of heart. They need to do what's right for our country."

It seems the longest of long shots. An Associated Press survey of more than 330 electors from both parties showed the overwhelming majority are sticking to their candidates. And 15 of the 16 Georgia electors reached by the AJC — dedicated GOP activists hand-picked by Republican party leaders — said they would support Trump.

The last elector will be tapped later Monday to replace Baoky Vu, who was forced to resign this summer after indicating he wouldn't support Trump. That pick is likely to be Georgia GOP chair John Padgett, another Trump supporter.

Our AJC colleague Chris Joyner also caught up with a gaggle of demonstrators. Among them were Los Angeles residents Stephanie and Jesse Einstein, who struck out with brightly colored poster board signs to march around the Capitol. The Einsteins are actors in town to visit Stephanie’s family for the holidays.

Jesse Einstein acknowledged that any outcome other than the election of Trump was “incredibly unlikely.

“I mean, but all of this is unlikely,” he said. “There are so many things coming out.”

The Einsteins said they were particularly concerned about foreign influence in the electoral process. Jesse Einstein singled out Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s work for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine as an example.

“Watergate cost a president his job,” Jesse said. “This is so much bigger than that.”


Read more about Georgia's Electoral College vote:

Georgia Republicans to stick by Trump in Electoral College vote

Electoral College vote: Live updates on state-by-state voting

Anti-Trump groups step up pressure on Georgia GOP electors

Georgia GOP electors say they won't be swayed from voting for Trump

An Electoral College revolt against Donald Trump is quickly quashed in Georgia

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.