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Ohio's 18 electors cast votes for Trump, Pence

No surprises at Ohio Statehouse

by Andrew Schunk | Editor Published: December 20, 2016 10:35 AM
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Columbus -- There were no surprises at the Statehouse Dec. 19 as Ohio's 18 electors cast their votes, as expected, for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

The outcome came despite more than 100 protesters carrying signs and marching outside Capitol Square and a campaign by those opposed to a Trump presidency, hoping to sway the state's electoral college members in the direction of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

In the end, Trump's electors stayed true, signing the required documents and closing the books on Ohio's role in the 2016 election.

"We are done," Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said afterward. "Ohio is done with the presidential election. All the votes have been counted. The electoral votes have been cast. We had a smooth election in Ohio, and hopefully it's going that way in the other 49 states in the country as they conclude their electoral college process."

Congress will certify the electoral college votes from Ohio and the rest of the nation early next year, with Trump's inauguration set for Jan. 20.

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Monday's ceremony in the Senate Chambers at the Statehouse included opening remarks from Gov. John Kasich, paying tribute to astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, who died earlier this month.

Kasich spotlighted Glenn's courage, unity and love and his example of "living a life bigger than yourself."

" He frankly represented the ideals of America," the governor said, adding, "You come here today as members of the electoral college with heavy responsibilities to cast a vote for the president of the United States I look forward to your vote and the outcome of this vote, and I want to thank you for being so active in the political process."

There was one bit of drama with the proceedings -- state Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) resigned her elector seat just prior to the start of the ceremony after a legal challenge of her eligibility.

Hagan said Monday that she opted to step down rather than pursue the issue in court, "in response to the extreme liberal left's desire to muddy the waters for the president-elect. I wasn't going to allow that to happen."

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But Hagan still spoke at Monday's event, offering comments before the electors cast their ballots.

" Together, we are going to rebuild this nation with the best skills, talents and passions that Ohioans and Americans have to offer," Hagan said, adding of Trump, "He will lead our nation with an Americans-first priority, and he will restore honesty, accountability and change to Washington."

Ohio's 18 electors and alternates were solidified back in September by a vote of the Republican party's state central committee. As was the case with electors in other states, Ohio's electoral college members were bombarded with mail, social media postings and other efforts to convince them to vote for Clinton instead.

Though Trump won the electoral college vote, Clinton won the popular vote nationally, prompting criticism of the process and a call for change by some. More than 100 people carried signs, chanted and marched around the Statehouse Monday in opposition to Trump's electoral college victory.

But Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) defended the process.

"There are those who wish to politicize this process," he said. "But today's proceedings affirm the intent of our country's founders to ensure that candidates listen and appeal to voters from all across this country and ever state, from small farm towns like I represent to big sprawling cities on the coasts."

Husted added later, "We are exercising the will of the people of the state of Ohio who through an open and fair democratic process elected Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence to serve as president and vice president of the United States Whether you liked the outcome of the election or not, it is an occasion to celebrate freedom and democracy and the hopefulness that living in a freedom-loving nation provides."

Trump won Ohio, snagging 51.7 percent of the vote over Clinton's nearly 43.6 percent.

Republican state Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel offered the keynote address Monday, even taking time to recognize those protesting Trump's selection.

"We should celebrate the fact that people are outside exercising their First Amendment rights, but we should also celebrate the fact that we have a great tradition in this country, and that tradition is a peaceful transition of power," he said. "And my hope is that all these protesters and everyone who did not cast a ballot for President-elect Trump will come together to root for President-elect Trump and his success for the prosperity of America [and] for everything we stand for in this country."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


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