The Electoral College has voted. Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America.
The Electoral College is usually an afterthought in most minds. This year it was thrust to the forefront when Clinton supporters realized there was the slightest chance they could block Donald Trump from the Presidency.
In the end, it was much ado about nothing. 304 of the delegates pledged to vote for Donald Trump followed through with their commitment despite the protests, threats, and celebrity videos urging them to block the President Elect. 2 Texas delegates failed to vote in accord with state results. They cast their ballots for Ron Paul and John Kasich.
Of Clinton’s 232 pledged delegates, 227 voted as pledged and 5 electors were “faithless.” From Washington state: three electors voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one for Native American Tribal Leader, Faith Spotted Eagle. One elector from Hawaii voted faithlessly and cast their ballot for Bernie Sanders. Three additional electors, from Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota, attempted to vote against Clinton and were either replaced or required to vote again.
All told, 7 electors voted faithlessly, more than any other presidential election. The New York Times reports:
“It is rare for more than one elector to vote against the party’s pledged candidate, but it has happened on a few occasions.
In 1808, six New York electors from the Democratic-Republican Party refused to vote for James Madison and instead voted for the party’s vice-presidential candidate, George Clinton.
The last time an elector voted for a candidate from another party was in 1972, when a Republican from Virginia voted for the Libertarian candidate, John Hospers, instead of the eventual winner, Richard M. Nixon. A single elector has refused to vote for the party’s presidential candidate in 11 elections.”
There was an additional elector who failed to vote for James Madison in 1808, but he neglected to vote at all, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Monday’s Electoral College vote will be certified in a joint session of Congress on January 6th, 2017. The Vice President, Joe Biden, will preside as President of the Senate.