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Indiana Electors cast all 11 votes for Trump

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BRIAN SLODYSKO

Associated Press

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.

Retired teacher 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,” Manning said.

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 America.”

 

 

 

Posted 12/19/2016

 
 
 
 

 

 

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