Monday, December 19, 2016

And to the Next Stage...

The United States has basically a three-step election process for the Presidency. The first consists of the fifty-one popular votes, which took place on November 8, and which are counted and certified by the State governments. The second step consists in the Electoral College vote, which can be seen as a review and confirmation of those popular votes, and it took place today, December 19, in the various States, and its votes are then certified by the States and passed on. And then the Electoral College vote must be officially counted by Congress on January 6. Thus the election of a President involves the popular vote, undergoes review by the States, is taken into account in the Electoral College, and is sealed by the U.S. Congress. Every level of our federal system is involved.

The Texas Electors just voted: For the Presidency, 36 for Donald Trump, 1 for Ron Paul, and 1 for John Kasich. (They are still in the middle of the Vice-Presidential vote right now. I'll update with the numbers. UPDATE: And it is 37 votes for Mike Pence and 1 for Carly Fiorina.) Interestingly, the Texas EC was the most troublesome for Republicans. Four Electors simply didn't show and had to be replaced, leading to the Texas meeting taking forever. (It started at 2:00 and was doing procedural maneuvers until the Presidential vote a bit before 4:30.) Then it delivered what seems to have been Trump's only two defections. Texas Republicans are apparently a little wary of the Yankee real estate mogul. In any case, Trump already had 268, so the tardy Texas voting puts him over the top; he is confirmed by the Electoral College as our forty-fifth President.

Clinton had more trouble -- in Washington she lost 3 votes to Colin Powell and 1 to Faith Sitting Eagle, the NoDAPL activist, and there were several other attempted defections (although the electors in question were replaced).

UPDATE: And the final total seems to be:

Donald Trump 304
Hillary Clinton 227
Colin Powell 3
Faith Sitting Eagle 1
Ron Paul 1
John Kasich 1
Bernie Sanders 1

The Sanders vote seems to be from Hawaii. It's an unusual day in many ways: Clinton has lost the most EC votes of any candidate in the past century. The last time this many people received EC votes was 1796 (and then there was one slate for President and Vice President both). An elector in Maine tried to vote for Sanders, but changed his vote to Clinton on second ballot when told that it wouldn't be counted; an elector in Minnesota tried to vote for Sanders rather than Clinton and an elector in Colorado tried to vote for Kasich rather than Clinton, but were replaced. And thus the total of 'faithless electors' is now at 164.

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