COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s nine presidential electors have cast their ballots for Republican Donald Trump.
The vote happened during a meeting Monday in Columbia. Protesters’ shouts could be heard outside the meeting as the results were broadcast.
Electors were required by state law to vote for Trump, who overwhelmingly carried South Carolina in November’s general election. But that didn’t stop electors from receiving thousands of letters, emails and phone calls urging them to drop their support for the president-elect.
South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison said after the meeting he was disappointed because there are still so many unanswered questions about Russia’s involvement in the election. He told protesters, who gathered in front of the Statehouse hours before the vote, that one of the reasons the electoral college was created was to prevent a foreign government from influencing an election here.
“It would have benefited these guys, I think, had they asked for an intel briefing to see where we were and whether or not there were anyone involved in the Trump campaign, whether they had any connections with those folks in Russia,” he said.
But his counterpart, state Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore, who was one of the electors, said, “I think Russian influence is very possible, but the fact is the Russians did not force Hillary Clinton to not campaign in Wisconsin over the past few months of the election. So Democrats should have run a better campaign if they wanted to be successful in the General Election.”
Protesters gathered Monday at state capitols around the country calling on electors not to back the Republican. South Carolina Democratic Party officials say 1,400 people signed a petition trying to persuade electors to change their minds given the CIA and FBI’s conclusions that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of supporting Trump.
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