WINNER: Electoral process defines winning candidate as the one who receives a majority of the 538 members of the Electoral College
Washington: Donald Trump has received the outcome he expected from the US Electoral College, a majority among the 538 members, sealing his victory in the US presidential election and clearing the way for his inauguration on January 20.
An attempt to block the Trump win by so-called “faithless” electors fell far short.
The Electoral College votes took place all day in the 50 individual states and the District of Columbia on Monday. Electors from Texas were the last to vote and they put Trump over the 270 threshold, according to news reports, bringing his tally to 304. Clinton received 228 votes.
Trump called it a “historic electoral landslide victory” even though his Electoral College margin ranks 46th among 58 US presidential elections.
“The official votes cast by the Electoral College exceeded the 270 required to secure the presidency by a very large margin, far greater than ever anticipated by the media,” he said in a statement.
The US electoral process defines the winning candidate as the one who receives a majority of the 538 members of the Electoral College, who are typically state party officials or people who are close to the candidate. They are chosen by their state political parties.
Voters who cast their ballots in the November 8 election were effectively voting to determine which candidate would receive their state’s electoral votes.
Monday’s vote was all but a foregone conclusion because Trump was declared the winner after clinching enough states to put him over the 270 threshold.
His victory came despite Clinton’s victory in the popular vote and alleged Russian meddling in the US election process, prompting calls for electors to break with their state party leaders and reverse their votes.
Six electors did just that, bucking their pledges, according to account by Politico. Two of them had been pledged to Trump, and four of them to Clinton.
The Electoral College vote is usually perfunctory, but this year it was in the spotlight because of the appeals for electors to vote against Trump.
Electors were flooded with emails and telephone calls pressuring them not to vote for Trump, according to media reports. In addition, nearly 5 million people signed an online petition aimed at preventing Trump from becoming president. — dpa