Members of the Electoral College are meeting at State Capitols across the country on Monday to cast their ballots for president. Although the presidential election happened on November 8, its the Electoral College that officially chooses the next president of the United States based on the popular vote from each state or, in a couple of instances, votes from congressional districts.
Typically, the meeting of the Electoral College is a formality, but with Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots and U.S. intelligence agencies saying Russia meddled in the presidential election, protesters are turning up at State Capitols to encourage Electors to switch their votes from Trump to Clinton.
Protester arrested outside #PA's State Capitol in advance of Electoral College ceremony starting at noon. pic.twitter.com/ESPj5bf9hNDecember 19, 2016
HAPPENING NOW: Anti-Trump protesters outside of capital before electoral college vote @WBRZ pic.twitter.com/PRpkLR6pTeDecember 19, 2016
There is no constitutional provision or federal law that requires electors to vote for the candidate who won their state. Some states require their electors to vote for the winning candidate, either by law or through signed pledges. But no elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged, according to the National Archives.
Those laws are rarely tested. More than 99 percent of electors through U.S. history have voted for the candidate who won their state.
One Republican Elector told The Associated Press that he would not cast his vote for Trump, while another Elector in Maine cast his vote for Bernie Sanders instead of Clinton.
"I cast my Electoral College vote for Bernie Sanders today to let those new voters who were inspired by him know that some of us did hear them, did listen to them, do respect them and understand their disappointment," the Elector wrote on Facebook.
Despite the protests, Trump surpassed the 270 required to win the presidency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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