Florida’s 29 electors cast votes for Trump

AP Photo
AP Photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida’s 29 electors gathered in the state Senate chambers and cast their votes for president on Monday afternoon.

All 29 voted for Donald Trump, who carried the state in November. For the first time in recent memory, protesters tried to convince some Electors to change their vote, but in the end, Florida Electors chose the man they had pledged to support.

The electors had been deluged with emails, letters and phone calls from people hoping to convince electors not to cast their vote for Trump, but their pleas didn’t sway them. The electors are among Florida’s most loyal Republicans. They were chosen by the state GOP and approved by Scott.

Among them are Republican National Committee co-Chair Sharon Day, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia and Susie Wiles and Joe Gruters, who were co-chairs of Trump’s Florida campaign.

7,500 protesters had already arrived here at the state Capitol by 10 am, and the crowd keep growing all day.

Hundreds of letters arrived at Elector Brian Ballard’s office over the weekend. Hundreds more last week. Most if not all ask him to vote for Hillary Clinton or anyone but Donald trump. Their efforts were wasted. Ballard is as staunch a Trump supporter as they come.

“He had the will of the people of Florida, He won Florida. I voted for him, I supported him, I raised money for him. I represent him,” said Brian Ballard.

Among the mail were copies of the Federalist papers in which Alexander Hamilton says the electoral college is a good thing for America.

The meeting of Florida’s Presidential Electors began promptly at 2 p.m. in the Chambers of the Florida Senate. One tardy elector nearly forced the election of an alternate, but the elector showed up before the election. 18 minutes later, it was over.

Two hundred-seventy votes are required to win the White House. Democrat Hillary Clinton has 96 votes. She won the national popular vote, and protests continued around the country in state capitols where electors were meeting Monday. But Trump remains poised to win 306 of the 538 electoral votes under the state-by-state distribution of electors used to choose presidents since 1789.

RELATED: Electoral College meets amid effort to deny Trump presidency

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