Protest at Capitol Building held to influence Electoral College vote
Protesters gathered at the Michigan State Capitol Monday in a show of opposition to Donald Trump, imploring Michigan’s Electoral College to reject the President-elect.
A significant number of electors becoming “faithless,” or voting against the candidate they are bound to, would be unprecedented in an American presidential election. No presidential election has had its results changed by faithless electors.
Stop Trump Ann Arbor was one of the groups to organize the protest as part of the greater “December 19” coalition, which is holding protests at State Capitols around the country today in a joined effort to influence the Electoral College.
“We’re not interested in going backwards,” Stop Trump Ann Arbor volunteer Kate Holmes said. “By (the Electors) being heroic and voting against Trump, they could actually save our country a great deal of heartache.”
Muskegon resident Marshall Hampton held an “all votes matter” sign and expressed disdain towards Trump, particularly objecting to the appointment of Michigan businesswoman Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.
“There’s nothing right about him,” Hampton said. “I don’t even think he expected it to go this far, but now that he has, he’s just an attention hog, that’s all he’s doing this for.”
Southfield resident Lynn Marie Anderson said this was the first political rally she has attended, spurred by opposition to Trump.
"I feel that if we have young men and women in our country that have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the least I can do is come here as a United States citizen and protest this guy being president," Anderson said. "He is not my president, he does not represent me."
At about 1 p.m., the protesters moved inside the Capitol Building and set up shop on the second and third floors, encircling the balcony while stomping, pounding and chanting. Some gathered outside the Senate Chamber used by the electors to vote, as the protest’s goal was to make the electors hear them.
The vote was ticketed, and the public was not permitted to enter, which angered many of the protesters.
"We felt pretty much like this wasn’t our place, and it was very clear that there was some way in which we were prevented from being able to see what happened, in what would be the people’s house,” Holt resident Susan Rothfuss said. 69 years old, Rothfuss said she’s been involved in political activism since eighth grade.
Eventually the Electors voted as they were bound, casting Michigan’s 16 ballots for Trump. Despite the protest being unsuccessful, Rothfuss and others vowed to continue opposing Trump.
“First we have to fight issue by issue,” Rothfuss said. “Over the next two years I will be doing everything I can to make sure there is a Democratic sweep in the House and movement in the Senate. And that’s the only thing we can do is to, I hate to say it because I don’t really think we should be obstructing our own government, but somebody like Donald Trump and the people that he’s choosing for his cabinet, I don’t know how else we can do it.”