Texas Electors Cast Ballots for President, Push Trump Over 270

Texas electors have cast their ballots for president at the state capitol in Austin Monday, with 36 of the 38 voters selecting Donald Trump.

The tally pushes the Republican president-elect over the 270-vote threshold and ensures that the billionaire will become America's 45th president.

Electors had been deluged with emails, phone calls and letters urging them not to support Trump. Two Texas electors cast protest votes against Trump, but in the end he had more than he needed. One vote went to former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, while another went to Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

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.

Texas had been poised to put Trump over the top, but the proceedings dragged out because four absent electors had to be replaced.

One Texas elector previously resigned and was replaced on the panel after expressing concern about Trump's presidential qualifications.

Another elector, Chris Suprun, of Dallas, had previously said he won't pick Trump after comparing the businessman to "a king."

Suprun hasn't said who got his ballot.

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.

Those laws, however, are rarely tested. More than 99 percent of electors through U.S. history have voted for the candidate who won their state. Of those who refused, none has ever been prosecuted, according to the National Archives.

Some Democrats have argued that the Electoral College is undemocratic because it gives more weight to less populated states. Hillary Clinton, who lost the election to Trump, received 2.8 million votes more votes than Trump nationwide.

A joint session of Congress is scheduled for Jan. 6 to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding as president of the Senate. Once the result is certified, the winner — almost certainly Trump — will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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