Politics

Trump Has Officially Won The 2016 Presidential Election

| by Lauren Briggs

It's official: President-elect Donald Trump is the winner of the hard-fought, contentious and often controversial 2016 presidential election, despite talks that some electors would break free from their ranks and vote against the president-elect.

"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," Trump said in a statement released on Dec. 19, according to The Hill.

Though two Texas voters acted as faithless electors and voted against Trump, the Lone Star State still cast 36 votes for him and pushed the real estate billionaire over the 270 vote threshold needed to win the presidency. After Texas' vote, Trump had 304 total electoral votes, despite one elector who voted for Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and another who cast a ballot for former Republican/Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

"This election represents a movement that millions of hard working men and women all across the country stood behind and made possible," Trump said in the statement. "With this historic step we can look forward to the bright future ahead. I will work hard to unite our country and be the President of all Americans. Together, we will make America great again."

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As the final step before Trump's inauguration Congress will formally count the votes on Jan. 6, in accordance with the Constitution's 12th Amendment.

After former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots, many Democrats protested their candidate's loss. Even so, the majority of faithless votes came from the liberal side, with four Democratic electors in Washington breaking from their ranks. Three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, while one voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American activist most known protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Electors in two other states tried to vote against Clinton, some by casting their vote for Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, though they were replaced with alternates, notes the Los Angeles Times.

In addition to the nine attempted faithless votes on Dec. 19, there have been 157 since the Electoral College was established as the nation's official method to confirm an election, notes Fair Vote. Though some, such as the Hamilton Electors, who attempted to sway dozens of Trump-bound voters to support a different candidate, have worked together as groups, no faithless electors have ever changed the outcome of an election.

Sources: The Hill, Los Angeles Times, Fair Vote / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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