Donald Trump was officially declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election on Monday when electors in Georgia and other states formally cast their ballots for him, despite mounting pressure from critics who said he was unfit for the presidency.
The normally ho-hum convening of the Electoral College in statehouses across the nation became a drawn-out media spectacle as Trump critics deluged Republican electors with appeals to defy the New York businessman.
In Georgia and nearly every other state that Trump won, though, the only drama was how quickly the electors would line up behind the president-elect. All 16 of Georgia’s Republican electors said long before Monday’s vote they would support him, and across the nation only one or two of the 306 electoral votes he captured were at risk.
He topped the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president on Monday afternoon, when Texas electors formally voted. Aside from two Texas electors who defected, there were no signs of revolt against Trump among electors in the states he won.
“They had a great time today. I didn’t see a frown on anyone’s face, and I think that’s pretty important,” said a beaming Georgia GOP chair John Padgett, one of the 16 electors who celebrated Trump’s Georgia sweep.
The biggest signs of dissension came from the other side of the aisle. Three electors in Washington state cast their vote for Republican Colin Powell rather than Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the state’s popular vote. A fourth voted for “Faith Spotted Eagle,” a local environmentalist.
Read more about Georgia’s Electoral College vote: