BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The eleven members of the Electoral College from Massachusetts have officially cast their votes for Hillary Clinton.
The electors, chosen by the Democratic State Committee, gathered in the House of Representatives chamber at the Statehouse on Monday to perform their constitutional duties during a time-honored ceremony.
Republican Donald Trump is all but assured of winning the national electoral vote.
Clinton won 60 percent of the vote in Massachusetts and as several electors noted, also won the U.S. popular vote.
A few hundred protesters opposed to Trump’s election rallied outside the Statehouse earlier in the day, with some calling for a change in the Electoral College that would guarantee the national popular vote winner becomes president.
The protesters say Trump is unqualified to be president, and hope that other states that voted for him–like Ohio–instead choose Clinton.
They carried signs with slogans like “Not my president,” “Unqualified,” and “Go back to Russia,” chanted “The people united will never be defeated,” and waved at passing traffic on Beacon Street.
“Our job as citizens and voters is to every day take our opportunity to stand up and be democratic citizens, and that means every day we should be out here voicing our position,” protester Mary Cray from Somerville told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal.
The protests began around 8 a.m. Monday, and were part of a nation-wide movement calling on electors to change the outcome of the November election. On Monday afternoon, nearly six weeks after the contentious election, 538 electors gathered in every state to formally elect Donald Trump as president.
“Three million more people voted for the other candidate,” one protester told WBZ-TV’s Anna Meiler. “We need to figure out a different solution. Donald Trump is not good for our country, or the world.”
As expected, the 11 electoral votes in the blue state of Massachusetts went to Hillary Clinton–but protesters on the steps of the state house had a message for electors across the country.
“I think there’s too many unanswered questions about Donald Trump for us to rush into this electoral vote today without stopping and thinking, and investigating,” another protester said.
Several of the electors chosen by the Democratic State Committee said they had received phone calls or emails from people suggesting they join with Republican electors and pick a compromise candidate for president.
Electors who spoke to The Associated Press said they never seriously considered such a possibility and on Monday would proudly honor their pledge to vote for Clinton, who easily won Massachusetts over Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election.
Several did say they believed it would be appropriate, under special circumstances, for a presidential elector to vote for a candidate other than the one to who carried their state.
There’s no federal law requiring electors to vote a certain way–but historically, 99 percent of electors throughout history have not swayed from the candidate who won their state.
That may be good news for the lone Trump supporter in the crowd.
“Trump is the most fit to be president,” she said.
But Democrats aren’t ready to give up the fight.
When asked if she believed the protest would have any impact, one woman told Meiler, “I have to believe that, or I wouldn’t be here.”
Trump leads among pledged electors nationally. Those votes will be counted on January 5, 2017.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports
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