INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana’s eleven representatives to the Electoral College unanimously cast
their votes Monday to make Donald Trump president, while anti-Trump
activists at the Statehouse jeered the proceedings.
Across the country,
anti-Trump activists have encouraged citizen electors to reject the
Republican, who won a majority of Electoral College votes during the
election but lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
But in Indiana,
whose Gov. Mike Pence is the vice president-elect, it was little surprise
that the Republican Party electors designated by Trump’s November victory
were in lockstep. On Monday morning, the electors cast their ballots for
Trump and Pence during a roughly hour-long ceremony in the House chamber.
“I don’t think that
was in question,” said elector Chuck Williams, a Valparaiso Republican “It’s
Indiana - Trump received a big majority of the vote.”
The state’s GOP
electors are party loyalists and some owe their current jobs to Pence.
Elector Dan Bortner is the director of state parks under Pence, and Jeff
Cardwell is the state GOP Party chairman.
Williams is a donor
to Republican candidates and was awarded a long-term lease by Bortner for a
private beach banquet center at the Indiana Dunes State Park.
Outside the chamber
doors, dozens of protesters waved signs encouraging electors to reject
Trump. At the beginning of the ceremony, they could be heard singing “The
Star Spangled Banner” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Some jeered when
Pence’s name was mentioned over a loudspeaker.
Sandy Laycock, 66, of Avon, said she had hoped one or two electors wouldn’t
cast ballots for Trump, as allowed under state law. Laycock said Trump’s
open admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin is troubling, alongside
the leaked information hacked from Democrats’ computers that may have
influenced the election.
The CIA has traced
the source of the hacks to Russia.
“Trump has divided
our country so much with his rhetoric and he won’t own up to it,” said
Laycock, who supported Bernie Sanders. “Unfortunately, Indiana doesn’t send
any messages. All eleven voted for Trump. If just one or two said ‘Let’s
back up let’s see what’s going on,’ I would have been happier.”
Electors say they
were inundated with requests to not vote for Trump.
Ethan Manning, an
elector who is the Miami County Republican Party chairman, said he received
80,000 emails, more than 600 letters and dozens of phone calls. One person
sent him a DVD copy of “The Manchurian Candidate,” a political thriller
about a politician who is brainwashed to be a covert assassin.
Manning says that
got his attention, but it wasn’t going to change his vote.
“In Miami County,
where I’m from, (Trump) won 73 percent of the vote. So, there was no
question as to who the people of Indiana wanted us to support today,”
Monday’s vote was
overseen by Indiana’s GOP Secretary of State Connie Lawson and the state
Republican Party issued tickets for the event. Before the ballot, electors
were sworn in by Indiana state Supreme Court Justice Mark Massa. As ballots
were cast, the acapella duo “The Singing Contractors” sang the “God Bless