Electoral College members across the United States on Monday voted to affirm President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, The Hill reports.
Republican electors stayed loyal to their candidate, keeping Trump well above the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to secure the nomination, the news website noted.
Texas's 36 electoral votes for Trump pushed him over the edge at around 4:30 Central Time, even though two rogue electors' defections deprived Trump of one of those votes. That gave Trump 304 total electoral votes.
The Republican-controlled Congress, a body even more unlikely to be swayed by pressure than the Electoral College, will certify the vote on January 6.
The Electoral College is typically an afterthought in the presidential election process, but this time public attention to it hit an historic high due to the protests following Trump’s election.
The majority of states have laws compelling electors to follow their state’s majority vote but lack no federal or Constitutional directive to vote the way their states did in November. Even so, electors almost always hem to their state’s vote and only nine individual electors in the past 100 years broke from their state’s Election Day results, noted Politico.
Reports about Russian involvement in hacks that roiled the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta have compounded the calls for electors to abandon Trump.
His opponents have pointed to reports that Russia was behind the hacks to question whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had interfered to help boost Trump.
Trump has rejected the claims that his election win was enabled by Russian hackers, telling Fox News this week that Democrats bitter with the results of the election were inventing excuses for their defeat.
“It's just another excuse. I don't believe it,” said Trump. “Every week it's another excuse. We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College.”
His rival, Hillary Clinton, insists Putin ordered the hacks due to a “personal beef” against her.