Political Insider

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Donald Trump sweeps Georgia's 16 Electoral College votes


The only drama at the Georgia statehouse on Monday was how quickly the 16 Republican electors would cast their ballots for Donald Trump.

Each of the state's electors stood by Trump amid mounting protests from critics hoping to block his ascension to the White House. Vice President-elect Mike Pence also received all 16 electoral votes for the No. 2 job.

Georgia is one of about 20 states that doesn’t bind electors to the winner of the state’s vote, but there have been relatively few cases of so-called "faithless electors" who buck their state's pick. And no vote switch has ever affected the outcome of a presidential election.

While a few of the 306 Republican electors have hedged over their support of Trump, only one or two have indicated they won’t vote for him. And Georgia's 16 GOP electors signaled weeks before Monday's gathering there was no appetite for rebellion.

Still, Trump’s critics were hoping for another Baoky Vu, a Georgia GOP elector who said in August that he might not cast his Electoral College ballot for Trump if he won. He was forced to resign from his post hours later, but he’s been made into something of a hero for Trump critics hoping electors block his ascension to the White House.

Vu was replaced on Monday with Georgia GOP chair John Padgett, a stalwart Trump supporter.

The electors were at the center of an intense lobbying campaign. Left-leaning groups have circulated the names, emails, phone numbers and sometimes the home addresses of GOP electors, triggering a flood of hand-written letters, homemade YouTube clips and urgent pleas to reject Trump. They had little impact on Georgia electors.

“The themes seem to follow the Democrat talking points. When they change, the emails change,” said Kirk Shook, a GOP elector. “First it was the Electoral College should award the popular vote winner. Then it was ‘hold out for the recounts.’ Then it was ‘the Russians are coming!'"

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, a Cassville Republican, gave a not-so-subtle plea to the electors shortly before the vote.

“I know most of you here," he said, "and I have no doubt you’ll do the right thing.”

Read more about Georgia's Electoral College vote:

Anti-Trump groups step up pressure on Georgia GOP electors

Georgia GOP electors say they won't be swayed from voting for Trump

An Electoral College revolt against Donald Trump is quickly quashed in Georgia


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.