Don­ald Trump clinched the pres­i­dency Mon­day as mem­bers of the Elec­toral Col­lege cast bal­lots declaring him the vic­tor, a per­func­tory con­clu­sion to the most stun­ning pres­i­den­tial con­test in mod­ern his­tory.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed O’Keefe

Trump be­came the win­ner Mon­day af­ter­noon af­ter elec­tors from Texas cast bal­lots and put him over the 270 elec­toral votes needed to win. Re­sults will be an­nounced Jan. 6 in a spe­cial joint ses­sion of Congress.

While Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton amassed a nearly 3 mil­lion-vote lead in the pop­u­lar vote, Trump won the state-bystate elec­toral map, mak­ing him pres­i­den­t­elect. That po­lit­i­cal di­chotomy sparked spe­cial scru­tiny and in­tense lob­by­ing of elec­tors by Trump’s op­po­nents in re­cent weeks, in­clud­ing mass protests. It also drew out­size at­ten­tion to the usu­ally over­looked, con­sti­tu­tion­ally ob­li­gated gath­er­ings of 538 elec­tors in 50 states and the Dis­trict of Columbia.

The mostly sym­bolic calls for an Elec­toral Col­lege re­jec­tion of Trump grew af­ter rev­e­la­tions of a CIA as­sess­ment that Rus­sian hack­ing could have boosted his cam­paign, which in the view of many Trump crit­ics raised doubts about his le­git­i­macy.

Trump has dis­missed the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity’s anal­y­sis of Rus­sia’s role in the elec­tion and has boasted, in­clud­ing on Mon­day, of a “his­toric” elec­toral land­slide. But his 305-232 win over Clin­ton ranks just 46th out of 58 Elec­toral Col­lege mar­gins.

“This elec­tion rep­re­sents a move­ment that mil­lions of hard­work­ing men and women all across the coun­try stood be­hind and made pos­si­ble,” Trump said in a state­ment. “With this his­toric step, we can look for­ward to the bright fu­ture ahead.”

His de­trac­tors called on elec­tors to buck the pres­i­dent-elect in fa­vor of Clin­ton — or Trump’s run­ning mate, In­di­ana Gov. Mike Pence, or an­other Repub­li­can such as Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich.

Ul­ti­mately, Ka­sich earned one vote from an elec­tor in Texas. So did for­mer con-

gress­man Ron Paul, R-Texas. In Wash­ing­ton state, three elec­tors cast votes for for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Colin Pow­ell, while an­other voted for Faith Spot­ted Ea­gle, a mem­ber of the Sioux tribe from South Dakota who op­poses the Dakota Ac­cess Pipe­line.

Pence earned the req­ui­site elec­toral votes to serve as vice pres­i­dent, but in Wash­ing­ton state, Sens. Su­san Collins, R-Maine, and El­iz­a­beth War­ren, D-Mass., also earned some votes.

Across the coun­try, crit­ics of the pres­i­dent-elect braved cold tem­per­a­tures and ral­lied out­side state capi­tol build­ings in hopes that elec­tors might act as an emer­gency brake on Trump.

In Penn­syl­va­nia, which voted for a Repub­li­can pres­i­dent for the first time since 1988, a few hun­dred shell-shocked Democrats protested in Har­ris­burg while all 20 elec­tors backed Trump. In Utah, pro­test­ers booed and shouted “Shame on you” as the state’s six elec­tors cast votes for Trump in a Capi­tol con­fer­ence room in Salt Lake City.

In Florida, a cru­cial swing state where Trump de­feated Clin­ton by about a per­cent­age point, Trump won all 29 elec­toral votes. He also earned all 16 votes in Michi­gan, an­other state that flipped to Repub­li­cans for the first time since 1988.

On the streets of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., two dozen pro­test­ers as­sem­bled out­side Trump’s ho­tel on Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue, singing songs such as “We Shall Over­come.” Some held signs, in­clud­ing one that read, “Re­sist Putin’s Pup­pet.” The Dis­trict of Columbia’s three elec­tors later gath­ered at City Hall, just a block from Trump’s ho­tel.

In Albany, N.Y., for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton sat in the state Se­nate cham­ber as an elec­tor and cast one of the Em­pire State’s 29 elec­toral votes for his wife.

“I’ve never cast a vote I was prouder of,” he told re­porters af­ter the meet­ing.

De­spite the pleas of Trump op­po­nents, most elec­tors had said for weeks that they planned to cast votes re­flect­ing the will of their home states.

“Any choice was bet­ter than Hil­lary, so it’s not a hard choice for me,” Ok­la­homa Repub­li­can elec­tor Charles Potts said in a re­cent in­ter­view.

Richard Snel­grove, an elec­tor who also serves as a Salt Lake County, Utah, coun­cil mem­ber, said he had re­ceived “thou­sands of e-mails, hun­dreds of let­ters and a few phone calls — most of them re­spect­ful, a cou­ple over the top and a few that have been down­right threat­en­ing.”

Most of the mes­sages asked him to vote for Clin­ton on the grounds that she won the na­tional pop­u­lar vote. But Snel­grove said there was no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for such a move.

“No one elected me king, and it’s my job to re­flect the will of the peo­ple of Utah,” he said. “They chose Trump.”

In Har­ris­burg, Ray-Ellen Kavey, 68, had driven from neigh­bor­ing New York state to try to per­suade Penn­syl­va­nia’s elec­tors to switch al­le­giance.

“I think the Con­sti­tu­tion charges the elec­tors with pre­vent­ing ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing here — a hos­tile takeover of our gov­ern­ment by a bigot who has been sup­ported by Rus­sia,” Kavey said. “I know noth­ing will come of this, but my con­science won’t let me do any less.”

In Austin, Texas, Joni Ash­brook, 64, and her best friend, Mary Robin­son, 62, stood out­side the pinkgran­ite Texas Capi­tol, hold­ing two ends of a ban­ner that Ash­brook had sewed. “Re­sist Trump’s Agenda,” the sign read.

Ash­brook, a re­tired fourth­grade sci­ence teacher, said she knew the elec­tors prob­a­bly would vote for Trump but that she was trou­bled by Trump’s Cabi­net picks and his dis­re­gard for global warm­ing.

In Mary­land, all 10 of the state’s elec­tors voted for Clin­ton dur­ing a meet­ing in the Gov­er­nor’s Re­cep­tion Room at the State House in An­napo­lis. Mary­land law re­quires elec­tors to vote for the win­ner of the state’s pop­u­lar vote.

An­drew Harnik, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, chief strate­gist Steven Ban­non, left, and chief of staff Reince Priebus, right, walk along a bal­cony at Mar-a-Lago re­sort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Mon­day.

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