Elec­tors make it of­fi­cial

Vot­ers for­mally en­dorse Trump de­spite protests

The Times-Tribune - - Front Page - BY STEPHEN OH­LEMACHER

WASH­ING­TON — There were many pro­test­ers but few faith­less elec­tors as Don­ald Trump won the Elec­toral Col­lege vote Mon­day — en­sur­ing he will be­come Amer­ica’s 45th pres­i­dent.

An ef­fort by anti-Trump forces to per­suade Repub­li­can elec­tors to aban­don the pres­i­dent-elect came to prac­ti­cally noth­ing and the process un­folded largely ac­cord­ing to its tra­di­tions. Mr. Trump’s po­lar­iz­ing vic­tory Nov. 8 and the fact Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton had won the na­tional pop­u­lar vote had stirred an in­tense lob­by­ing ef­fort, but to no avail.

“We did it!” Mr. Trump tweeted Mon­day evening. “Thank you to all of my great sup­port­ers, we just of­fi­cially won the elec­tion (de­spite all of the dis­torted and in­ac­cu­rate me­dia).”

He later is­sued a state­ment say­ing: “With this his­toric step we can look for­ward to the bright fu­ture ahead. I will work hard to unite our coun­try and be the Pres­i­dent of all Amer­i­cans.”

Even one of Mr. Trump’s fiercest Repub­li­can ri­vals, Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich, said it was time to get be­hind the pres­i­dent-elect.

“We want unity, we want love,”

Mr. Ka­sich said as Ohio’s elec­tors voted to back Mr. Trump at a state­house cer­e­mony. Mr. Ka­sich re­fused to en­dorse or even vote for Mr. Trump in the elec­tion.

With all states vot­ing, Mr. Trump fin­ished with 304 votes and Mrs. Clin­ton had 227. It takes 270 Elec­toral Col­lege votes to win the pres­i­dency. Texas put Mr. Trump over the top, de­spite two Repub­li­can elec­tors cast­ing protest votes.

Be­fit­ting an elec­tion filled with ac­ri­mony, thou­sands of pro­test­ers con­verged on state capi­tols across the coun­try Mon­day, urg­ing Repub­li­can elec­tors to aban­don their party’s win­ning can­di­date.

More than 200 demon­stra­tors braved freez­ing tem­per­a­tures at Penn­syl­va­nia’s capi­tol, chant­ing, “No Trump, no KKK, no fas­cist USA!” and “No trea­son, no Trump!”

In Madi­son, Wis­con­sin, pro­test­ers shouted, cried and sang “Silent Night.” In Au­gusta, Maine, they banged on drums and held signs that said, “Don’t let Putin Pick Our Pres­i­dent,” re­fer­ring to Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

De­spite the noise out­side state Capi­tols, in­side, the vot­ing

went pretty much as planned.

In Nashville, Ten­nessee, one au­di­ence mem­ber tried to read out some Scrip­ture be­fore the bal­lots were cast, but was told he could not speak.

“We cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate the Scrip­ture,” State Elec­tion Co­or­di­na­tor Mark Goins said from the podium. “The an­swer is no.”

With all Repub­li­can states re­port­ing, Mr. Trump lost only the two elec­tors in Texas. One voted for Mr. Ka­sich, the Ohio gov­er­nor; the other voted for for­mer Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Mrs. Clin­ton lost four elec­tors in Wash­ing­ton state — three voted for for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Colin Pow­ell and one voted for Na­tive Amer­i­can tribal leader Faith Spot­ted Ea­gle. She also lost an elec­tor in Hawaii to Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders. Mrs. Clin­ton beat Mr. San­ders in the Demo­cratic pri­maries.

Sev­eral Demo­cratic elec­tors in other states tried to vote for protest can­di­dates but they ei­ther changed their votes to Mrs. Clin­ton or were re­placed.

The Elec­toral Col­lege has 538 mem­bers, with the num­ber al­lo­cated to each state based on how many rep­re­sen­ta­tives it has in the House plus one for each se­na­tor. The Dis­trict of Columbia gets three, de­spite the fact that the home to Congress has no vote in Congress.

Repub­li­can elec­tors were del­uged with emails, phone calls and let­ters urg­ing them not to sup­port Mr. Trump. Many of the emails are part of co­or­di­nated cam­paigns.

There is no con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion or fed­eral law that re­quires elec­tors to vote for the can­di­date who won their state — though some states re­quire their elec­tors to vote for the win­ning can­di­date.


Elec­tors ar­rive for Penn­syl­va­nia’s Elec­toral Col­lege at the state Capi­tol in Har­ris­burg on Mon­day.


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