Despite pressure, Missouri electors cast their votes for Trump
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s 10 electoral college votes officially belong to President-elect Donald Trump.
The state’s GOP delegates unanimously cast their votes in the Capitol on Monday afternoon, while dozens of protesters outside urged them to vote for anyone but Trump.
The billionaire real estate tycoon won Missouri handily with a 19-point victory over Clinton back in November.
Monday’s electoral college vote seemed to be the last hope of the anti-Trump movement, as protests were staged nationwide. In Texas, voters gathered enough signatures to petition the Secretary of State’s office, asking that the electoral college delegates be allowed to vote for the winner of the popular vote, Hillary Clinton. California demonstrators marched through the streets of Los Angeles. In Missouri, protesters lined the sidewalks outside of the Missouri statehouse holding signs, and inside, demonstrators sat outside of the Senate Lounge on the third floor, where electors cast their votes later in the day.
While the event seemed primed for a fireworks display, the votes were cast in a rather short amount of time. After tallying the votes, it was announced that President-elect Trump received all 10 votes, as did Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
The announcement was met with a mixture of applause and booing.
“The blood is on your hands!” one opponent of Trump proclaimed.
“Shame! Shame on you all,” said another.
Another member of the crowd responded, telling the protesters to “get over it”.
“Get over it when Russia invades,” the protester responded.
The vote itself typically isn’t much of a spectacle, sometimes taking just a few minutes. But it took the spotlight this year, due to a large number of citizens upset with the results of the November election. They say they’re concerned about what a nation led by Trump could become. The members of the anti-Trump movement cited several reasons as to why they want an electoral vote change. The chief reasons include alleged interference in the election by Russia, Clinton’s popular vote victory, though many say Trump is simply “unfit” to become president.
Thousands of Americans contacted the nation’s electoral college delegates in the weeks following the election, asking them to cast their vote for a different candidate. Delegates have reportedly received thousands of emails and phone calls in the weeks leading up to this vote. Some electors have even reported being harassed. But for many of the delegates, it was a historic day in their minds.
“I’ve signed my name a lot of times in my life, but that one may be one for the history books,” Electoral College member Scott Clark said. Clark is a delegate from southeastern Missouri and says the occasion was a humbling experience. “I firmly believe we are headed in the right direction. At this point, there’s nowhere to go but up from here.”
There’s no law on the books in Missouri requiring electors to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote. Despite the concerns and outcry, Missouri’s electors chose to stick with the state’s choice of Trump.
“Today is where it all comes together. We know now, for certain, that here in Missouri, Donald Trump is absolutely our nominee,” Aaron Willard, Trump’s campaign director in Missouri, said. “It’s really exciting. All of the work from so many volunteers and people across the state – it just culminates in what we saw here today.”
At last count, Trump was expected to claim 306 votes in the electoral college. The last count of votes cast show Trump with more than the required 270 votes, with 304. Six votes nationwide have not been cast to the promised candidate, tying the 1808 election for the most of all time. Two of Trump’s pledged votes in Texas were given to John Kasich and Ron Paul. Three of Hillary Clinton’s pledged votes in Washington were cast in favor of Colin Powell, while another went to Faith Spotted Eagle, the chairwoman of the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s treaty council.
A joint session of Congress is scheduled to meet on January 6 to certify the results. When that is done, the winner – Donald Trump – will be sworn into office on Jan. 20.