Trump secures state electoral votes

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of State  Tennessee's 11 electors met inside the State Capitol Monday morning to cast their electoral votes for Donald Trump/Mike Pence.

Photo Courtesy Tennessee Department of State
Tennessee’s 11 electors met inside the State Capitol Monday morning to cast their electoral votes for Donald Trump/Mike Pence.

On the heels of recent reports from the CIA that Russia influenced the 2016 election, Tennessee’s members of the Electoral College unanimously voted for Donald Trump on Monday, Dec. 19, inside the State Capitol to award the President-elect the state’s 11 electoral votes.
The Republican Party presidential ticket of Trump and Vice President Mike Pence earned a 306-232 victory in the Electoral College against the Democratic Party ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine to be pegged as the country’s leaders for the next four years.
“Today’s ceremony went without a hitch,” Adam Ghassemi, director of communications for Tennessee state secretary Tre Hargett, said.
While going through the ceremony relatively unscathed, Ghassemi added there were a few minor flare ups from protesters urging electors to cast their votes elsewhere.
“There were some minor interruptions,” he said. “But the ceremony never really went off track. The state has 11 voters, nine from each congressional district and two at-large voters.”
During an election that saw everything, one aspect that didn’t surprise was Trump carrying the predominantly red-leaning Tennessee with approximately 61 percent of the vote (over 1.5 million voters) to Clinton’s 35 percent (over 860,000). In Carter County, the ticket of Trump/Pence carried over 79 percent of the vote while Clinton/Tim Kaine controlled 16 percent.
Even with Trump carrying the electoral votes, Clinton carried the popular vote overall by over 2 million. The popular vote margin and recent news has sparked a movement across the country with individuals asking their state elector’s to “Dump Trump” and to select a new candidate for the presidency.
Ghassemi added that Tennessee state law dictates that electors must vote with the popular vote within the state. The law adds that if electors go against the grain, they face being charged with a misdemeanor and even the possibility of a felony.
“There really were no other options for our state’s electors,” Ghassemi said. “With the popular vote, the electors are bound by the state’s Republican Party to vote for Donald Trump. There’s not another option in our state compared to others.”
Even with the law in place, Ghassemi did reference that some electors noted they received emails from individuals out of the state asking the voters to go against the state’s popular vote pick.
In the evening hours Monday, the Electoral College convened and awarded Trump the 270 votes needed – officially giving him the presidency.
The 2016 election proved to be one to remember, according to Ghassemi.
“It was a very unique election,” he said. “One good thing to come out of this is that it may encourage more Tennesseans to come out and vote in the next election.”

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