Groups of protestors swarmed in front of the Florida State Senate chamber Monday, calling for the state’s 29 electors to flip their vote from President-elect Donald Trump. But as expected, electors stayed the course.
Florida’s electors-like those across the country-have been bombarded by postcards, letters, emails and phone calls since the November 8th election. While some notes were allegedly threatening or harassing, all urged members of the electoral college to vote in a certain way.
Protesters tried citing an essay written by founding father Alexander Hamilton and the U.S. Constitution’s 12th Amendment to argue that Trump was unfit and that electors should “vote their conscience.”
But the effort was always a long shot. While Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, Republican Donald Trump won the vote that matters in U.S. presidential election - the electoral vote.
Electors are primarily picked from the state party’s most faithful. Florida Senate President Joe Negron said he received thousands of letters and emails begging him to not vote for Trump. But, he said Trump won the election fair and square.
“When you look at the battleground states, it actually wasn’t that close in terms of him so many of the battleground states, a high percentage of them," he said. "I think the election’s based on the rules at the beginning of the contest and I feel good about the result.”
But president-elect’s rhetoric during the campaign, his potential conflicts of interest and his unclear relationship with Russia have some Americans more than worried about a Trump administration. Activist Lakey Love, who also protested at the Capitol this weekend, explained some of her concerns.
“We are really worried about a Trump presidency and we feel like he’s unqualified, that he’s a demagogue and he has too many connections to foreign relations, particularly Russia," she said.
But Florida electors say they have none of those worries. Florida Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, spoke after the vote. While U-S intelligence agencies say Russia hacked democratic emails to help Trump get elected, Trujillo said Americans voted and elected Trump - not Russians.
"I don’t think anybody’s made any of those allegations, so I don’t think anybody’s concerned," he said. "If it’s going to be investigated, that’s a separate matter. It has nothing to do with the outcomes of the election.”
Despite reports that a small number of electors went rogue in a few states, the president-elect received the required electoral votes to be sworn into office.