The Times-Tribune

Pennsylvan­ia’s 20 votes cast for president-elect

- BY ROBERT SWIFT HARRISBURG BUREAU CHIEF

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvan­ia’s 20 presidenti­al electors dutifully cast their votes for Republican Donald Trump on Monday despite lastminute pleas from protesters in the galleries to “vote their conscience” and deny him the presidency.

The announceme­nt that Mr. Trump had won all the state’s electoral votes at the Electoral College was greeted with boos and applause in the House chambers as modern political theater intruded on a ceremony dating to the 18th century.

The tension at the Electoral College followed an unconventi­onal presidenti­al campaign filled with harsh rhetoric and a surprise

result with Mr. Trump’s win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The electors, including Rep. Tina Pickett, R-110, Towanda, met amid visible state police security as several hundred protesters filled the Capitol Rotunda and the visitor galleries above the House floor.

The protesters called on the electors to vote for another candidate or deny Mr. Trump a needed 270-vote threshold in the Electoral College so the presidenti­al election could be decided in the U.S. House of Representa­tives.

Elector Robert Gleason Jr., chairman of the state GOP party, said his colleagues followed their conscience and answered the call of the voters.

Mr. Trump is the first GOP candidate to carry Pennsylvan­ia’s popular and electoral votes since 1988.

As a House lawmaker, Ms. Pickett is used to voting on bills via an electronic rollcall. Here she wrote her choice on a piece of paper and dropped it in a box. Ms. Pickett said she was inundated with mail and email urging her not to vote for Mr. Trump.

“Trump is not fit to be our president,” said Stephen Moyer, a Pottsville resident, standing with a handmade sign on the ice-covered Capitol steps.

Mr. Moyer said he voted for Mrs. Clinton, but suggested the electoral college could help unite the nation by choosing someone else as president.

Mr. Moyer voiced concerns about Mr. Trump’s treatment of women and reports of Russian computer hacking as part of an effort to influence the election. Contact the writer: rswift@timesshamr­ock.com

 ?? MATT ROURKE / ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Protesters demonstrat­e ahead of Pennsylvan­ia’s 58th Electoral College at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.
MATT ROURKE / ASSOCIATED PRESS Protesters demonstrat­e ahead of Pennsylvan­ia’s 58th Electoral College at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.
 ?? MATT ROURKE / ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? A teller places ballots into a box during Pennsylvan­ia’s 58th Electoral College at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.
MATT ROURKE / ASSOCIATED PRESS A teller places ballots into a box during Pennsylvan­ia’s 58th Electoral College at the state Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday.

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