The day has officially arrived—the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December—also known as Presidential Election Day.
Confused because you thought we already elected Donald Trump? Well, you're only half right. The actual election of the president, as prescribed by the Constitution, is conducted by the 538 members of the Electoral College, who were picked as a result of your vote back on Nov. 8.
Beginning at 10 a.m. EST, the electors gathered at their respective state capitols to cast their ballots—one for president, the other for vice president—and in most states, that vote is mandated to follow the results of those states' popular votes. But in a few, there's the potential for "faithless" electors who vote differently.
It's added some intrigue, in part because of a liberal mainstream media-fueled effort to convince Republican electors to become faithless. If more than 36 of those GOP electors vote for someone other than Trump, the election would go to the House of Representatives to be settled.
Here's where we are right now:
5:30 p.m. — Electors in Texas have finally cast their ballots. Two "faithless electors" voted for former U.S. Rep. Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Christopher Suprun had pledged to vote for Kasich. It's not clear who voted for Paul—Texas electoral ballots are cast in secret.
This puts the current vote tallies at:
Donald Trump — 304
Hillary Clinton — 166
Colin Powell — 3
Faith Spotted Eagle — 1
John Kasich — 1
Dr. Ron Paul — 1
Electoral votes from California and the District of Columbia have not yet been reported. Hawaii electors will convene at 7 p.m. EST.
5 p.m. — Electors in California and Nevada are now convening at their respective state capitols. Hawaii voters will convene at 7 p.m. EST. We're still waiting for reports from Texas and the District of Columbia, which are pledged to Trump and Clinton, respectively.
Pending how Washington handles its "faithless elector" situation—statutorily, it doesn't allow faithless votes—the final vote tallies look like they will be:
- Businessman Donald Trump — 306 (305 if pledged faithless elector Christopher Suprun follows through)
- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — 228
- Former Secretary of State Collin Powell — 3
- Yankton Dakota Tribal Elder Faith Spotted Eagle — 1
Reports indicate several hundred protesters are positioned outside the California statehouse in Sacramento. The state's 55 electoral votes are pledged to Clinton, and state law prevents faithless electors.
4:30 p.m. — With six votes from Iowa's electors, Donald Trump has officially received the majority needed to become the 45th President of the United States. The new unofficial vote tally is 275 for Donald Trump, 160 for Hillary Clinton, which leaves 103 left to be cast.
Regarding the votes cast in Washington, which does not allow "faithless electors," AP is reporting:
Democrat Hillary Clinton received eight votes, former Secretary of State Colin Powell got three, and Faith Spotted Eagle, an elder in the Yankton Dakota tribe, got one. Clinton won the state's popular vote.
So far, all seven of this year's faithless electors have been Democrats. We have yet to hear from Texas, which is home to avowed Republican faithless elector Christopher Suprun.
States that have convened, but not yet reported are:
- District of Columbia (not a state, but gets three electoral votes)
4 p.m. — The new unofficial vote tally is 266 for Donald Trump, 127 for Hillary Clinton, which leaves 145 left to be cast. The president-elect may be just one electoral vote away from officially winning the presidency, based on some new reports.
AP is reporting four electors in Washington have refused to cast their votes for Clinton. One elector in Colorado also refused to cast a vote for Clinton, becoming the first official "faithless elector" of the Electoral College so far.
By not casting those five ballots, it reduces the number of ballots cast to 533, reducing Trump's threshold to meet the constitutional majority to 267 electoral votes.
There have been seven electors who have attempted to be faithless, all of them have been Democrats who refuse to vote for Clinton, so far. In one case, a Minnesota elector was replaced. In another, a Maine elector was forced to change his vote.
The following states have now convened their electors to begin the voting process: Iowa and Montana. Trump won both of these states.
These states have convened their electors, but have not reported results:
- District of Columbia (not a state, but gets three electoral votes)
- New Jersey
3:30 p.m. — The new unofficial vote tally is 253 for Trump, 118 for Clinton, which leaves 167 left to be cast. The president-elect is now just 17 electoral votes away from officially winning the presidency.
The previously reported "faithless elector" in Maine was forced to cast his vote for Clinton after his original vote for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was deemed "improper." We've yet to hear any outrage from Hollywood—we're not holding our breath, either.
Just five states have yet to convene their electors: Iowa and Montana at 4 p.m. EST, California and Nevada at 5 p.m., and Hawaii at 7 p.m. Trump won the first two back in November, while Clinton won the other three.
3 p.m. — The new unofficial vote tally is 241 for Trump, 118 for Clinton. That leaves just 179 votes left to be cast—Trump needs just 29 more votes to officially win the presidency.
Electors are now convening in Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Texas and Washington. Click here to watch the livestream as electors cast their ballots in Alaska. Click here to watch the livestream of votes being cast in Texas, where one Republican elector has pledged to be "faithless."
As was previously reported, one elector in Maine has cast a vote for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) instead of Hillary Clinton. This doesn't change the number of electoral votes Donald Trump needs to win the presidency (270).
2:30 p.m. — The new unofficial vote tally is 221 for Trump, 103 for Clinton. That leaves just 214 votes left to be cast. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have all cast their ballots, or are in the process of doing so, now.
We've also had our first official "faithless elector," Muhammad Abdurrahan, a Minnesota Democrat who refused to vote for Clinton. The state doesn't allow faithless votes, so an alternate elector had to be sworn in.
The window of opportunity to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency is nearly shut. Of the states that allow "faithless electors," only the following states that voted for the president-elect have yet to convene: Missouri, Texas and Iowa.
Electors in Michigan insisted on having a statement "read into the record." According to the Associated Press, it was a statement regarding the historical merits of the Electoral College. We'll try to track down a copy of the statement.
2 p.m. — The new unofficial vote today from today's elector meetings is Trump 179, Clinton 93. That leaves 266 votes yet to be cast. Electors are now convening in their respective state capitols in Alabama, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Click here to watch the livestream from the Florida statehouse.
Protesters have, by and large, been a non-issue for electors, although in a couple of states, electors have been provided police protection. In Pennsylvania, the vote tally (20 votes for Trump) was met with applause, followed by angry chants—one woman screamed from the gallery, "You just gave us Adolph Hilter!"
In Wisconsin, the protesters sang "Silent Night" and chanted throughout the afternoon. When the state's 10 electoral votes went to Trump, some shouted, and many others cried.
1:30 p.m. — The new count is Donald Trump 170 and Hillary Clinton 93. Still no official "faithless electors" for either candidate as the votes come in. The next states to convene their electors will be: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming, all at 2 p.m. EST.
President Bill Clinton, who is a New York Democratic Party elector, was the first to cast his vote for his wife at the statehouse in Albany. It's the first time a former president has cast a ballot as an elector for a relative.
1 p.m. — Of the states that have already cast their votes, Donald Trump has 105 and Hillary Clinton has 66. There have been no "faithless" electors, yet. The states that are about to convene their electors are: Alabama, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
Twenty-three states have already convened their electors, but we're less than halfway through the total electoral votes. Big states, like California, Florida and Texas vote later this afternoon and evening.
One elector in Maine has claimed he will vote for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) instead of Hillary Clinton. That would move the bar for the #HamiltonElectors effort—a last-ditch push to prevent Trump from winning the presidency funded by George Soros.
Keep checking this article throughout the day for additional updates.
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