By Jim Ellis
Dec. 20, 2016 — According to state Electoral College counts from yesterday’s announced votes, it appears Donald Trump has officially won the presidency. The secret ballot results will be read before the Congress on Jan. 6, and at that time the presidential outcome, at long last, will become final.
The group calling itself “The Hamilton Electors”, whose goal was to convince at least 37 GOP electors to eschew Trump in favor of another Republican candidate, failed miserably as predicted. In fact, two of the key organizers, Colorado electors Polly Baca, a state senator, and teacher Bob Nemanich were replaced by the state officials because they were openly planning to violate Colorado’s law that requires electors to support the candidate who earned at least a plurality of the state’s election votes.
The state officials went to federal court to block Baca and Nemanich from voting for someone other than Hillary Clinton, the candidate who received 48.2 percent of the vote in the Nov. 8 Election Day vote. Yesterday, all nine Colorado electors, sans Baca and Nemanich’s participation, voted for Clinton.
In the end, it appears that Trump lost two electoral votes from his original 306 election night total. Ironically, it is Clinton who lost more, dropping four from her Nov. 8 sum. Four electors, all from the state of Washington, voted for candidates other than Clinton. Three supported retired General Colin Powell, while one backed Yankton Sioux Nation activist Faith Spotted Eagle, the latter being one of the individuals who led protests against developing the Keystone Pipeline.
Trump lost two delegates from Texas; one voting for Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), while the other reportedly supported former US Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX). Therefore, it appears the final vote count to be verified during the new Congress’ Jan. 6 session will be 304-228 in favor of Trump. The Republican nominee, exceeding the minimum 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidential election, will then be sworn into office on Jan. 20.
Though members of Congress, one from each house, can jointly file protests over certain Electoral College votes, and a protest could well be filed regarding the Colorado situation, such is not likely to amount to anything of significance.
Under the protest rules, Congress would have a two-hour period to decide whether to support the challenge. Because the Hamilton Electors’ effort produced almost nothing, it is highly unlikely that the Congress will sustain any related objection. No electoral vote challenge has ever gained congressional support.