COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Monday marks the next step in the presidential election -- it is the day electors in all 50 states meet to cast their ballots for either candidate.
In South Carolina, electors met at 11 a.m. to cast their ballots for the winner of the popular vote: President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
“It’s been on my bucket list, and it’s a dream come true,” Sandra Bryan, the 6th District Midlands Elector, said. “I appreciate the pomp and circumstance of today.”
The nine electors spent about an hour putting pen to paper Monday morning before South Carolina’s Secretary of State, making South Carolina’s vote for President Donald Trump official.
Trump won the state easily to claim its nine electoral votes with 55% of the vote in November, while President-elect Joe Biden garnered 43%.
Drew McKissick, the South Carolina Electoral College President, said he was proud to complete this final step of what they consider to be a smooth-sailing election.
“In the run-up to the election, we had people filing lawsuits essentially trying to change the rules of the elections in the middle of the game,” McKissick said. “We fought back against that early, all the way to the Supreme Court and we were successful. The process worked well here and the elections were conducted really well.”
The nine electors were elected through the South Carolina Republican Party and each represents a different district of the state. Two of the electors were chosen during Monday’s ceremony, after two of the original electors weren’t able to be in attendance.
All nine electors voted in line with the state’s popular vote, with each making brief remarks about the importance of the Electoral College and Monday’s vote.
“We don’t vote for president by majority vote, we vote for president by state,” McKissick said. “We had 50 different elections for president of the United States and it’s very important for South Carolina and other small states, and being a part of that process is just a privilege.”
It is the Electoral College that elects a president. Once the ballots are cast, the results are sent to Congress for confirmation.
“I’ve tried to teach my people in Newberry how important this is,” Teresa Altman, 5th District Elector, said. “So many people don’t realize that this is more important than anything that we do.”
Historically, electors largely cast ballots in line with the popular vote in each state.
Though there is no federal law requiring them to do so, some states have laws, fine or other methods to encourage would-be “faithless electors” to follow the popular vote.
Secretary of State Mark Hammond, who certified Monday’s vote, described the Electoral College as a compromise by the founding fathers between election of the president by popular vote or by Congress.
Trump and other Republicans have filed dozens of lawsuits across the nation contesting the election results, but most have been denied or have been unsuccessful thus far.
On Monday evening, Biden topped 270 electoral votes to secure his victory.
The results from across the country will be tallied on Jan. 6 before a joint session of Congress. President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.