In the end, there wasn't much drama in Monday's electoral college vote. Electors across the United States, despite showing a bit more independence than they usually do, ratified the coming presidency of Donald Trump, confirming that the New York real estate developer will take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017.
At the Texas state capitol in Austin, more than three hours of procedural maneuvering ended with a bit of a surprise. Two electors pledged to Donald Trump chose not to vote for the president-elect, instead casting ballots for John Kasich and former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.
Despite the votes being cast by secret ballot, the vote for Kasich almost certainly came from Dallas-based elector Chris Suprun, who pledged to vote for the Ohio governor and former Trump rival earlier this month. "Fifteen years ago, I swore an oath to defend my country and Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On Dec. 19, I will do it again," Suprun said in a New York Times op-ed explaining that he would not vote for Trump and that he would encourage other electors to do the same.
Despite the pleas from Suprun and the more than 265,000 who signed a petition dropped off by protesters at the Texas Secretary of State's office on Monday, only one of Suprun's colleagues joined him in breaking with tradition and refusing to vote for the candidate chosen by Texas voters. Four additional electors resigned their posts and were replaced by Trump-supporting electors, but only one of those who resigned, Art Sisneros, admitted to doing so because he didn't want to vote for Trump.
The Texas Democratic Party expressed disappointment that Texas electors and those around the country upheld the longstanding American institution.
"The Electoral College has failed American democracy. An unfit, unworthy man will assume the presidency. It is now up to Democrats to protect our families and communities," Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said. "We applaud the handful of Republican patriots that rejected Donald Trump, either refusing to vote for him or resigning their post. Unfortunately, it was too little and too late. "
After electors finished casting their vice-presidential ballots — Mike Pence got 37 votes and Carly Fiorina got one — Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted support for binding delegates to the winner of Texas' popular vote.
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