No drama: Mississippi’s six electoral college votes go to Trump

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Brynn Anderson, AP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a key to the city he brought onto stage with him as he spoke at a campaign rally in Madison on March 7.

Mississippi’s six electoral college votes were cast for President-Elect Donald Trump Monday morning at the Mississippi Capitol.

Trump won the November popular vote in Mississippi by a wide margin, garnering 58 percent of the vote compared to just 40 percent for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

While Mississippi state law does not force electoral college voters to cast ballots mirroring the popular vote, the state Republican party selected the electors and they each had taken oaths swearing to vote for Trump.

The six voters cast their official ballots for Trump on Monday without hesitation. The results were certified by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and will be sent to the U.S. Congress, which is expected to confirm Trump to the office once the new Congress convenes in January.

There have been reports that some electors in other states might break oaths and state laws, in some cases, to avoid voting for Trump. Hundreds of protesters at several statehouses around the country made their final appeal to electors, asking them to vote for candidates other than Trump.

In Mississippi, about a dozen protesters, many holding signs and chanting, met at Hosemann’s Capitol office shortly before the ceremony. Several squeezed in the packed Capitol room where voters cast votes. When voters received the ballots, one protester said, “Write in Hillary Clinton!”

“Each of these electors took an oath to vote for the person (their parties wanted them to),” Hosemann said. “We don’t have a firm obligation in our statutory code, but they do take oaths … Everyone honored their pledge here today.”

The six voters were William Yates, chairman of Yates Construction; Joe Frank Sanderson, CEO of Sanderson Farms; J. Kelley Williams, retired president of First Mississippi Corporation; Wirt Yerger Jr., a longtime Mississippi GOP official; Ann Herbert, a member of the state GOP executive committee; and Charles Evers, brother of late civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

Evers, 94, who publicly supported Trump in 2016, replaced Brad White, who was recently named chief of staff for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran. White declined to serve as an elector Monday to avoid conflicts of interest with his new position.

“It was very important to me to honor the law (requiring electoral voters to cast votes based on popular vote),” Evers said after the ceremony. “I was the first one to vote for Trump. I beat everyone else in the room.”

Hosemann said each elector is paid $4, plus $4 for every 20 miles traveledto reach the Capitol and cast their vote.