BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On December 19, electors across the nation cast their official votes for the 45th President of the United States.
All 8 of Louisiana electors cast their votes for Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence for President and Vice President, respectively, putting aside extensive calls for them to reject the ticket.
The electors follow in the path of Louisiana voters. During the general election in November, 58 percent of Louisiana voters cast ballots for the Republican presidential ticket.
"It is with a considered confidence and clear conscious that I cast my vote for president for Donald J. Trump," elector Lloyd Harsch said, addressing a crowd of Republican leaders and state residents that had gathered in the state Senate Chamber.
The little-known group of electors, along with a group of protesters, gathered at the state Capitol. Voting was held in the chambers just before noon.
Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler began the ceremony and then handed the gavel over to Charles "Charlie" Buckels, CD3 Elector from Lafayette, LA who was elected Chairman of the Louisiana Electoral College by the eight person body. Steven "Scott" Wilfong, At Large Elector from Baton Rouge, LA, was elected Secretary.
At one point during the meeting, someone 'booed' as an elector cast his vote for the business mogul.
Soon after being called to order, the Louisiana Electoral College cast all eight of its electoral votes for President in favor of Donald J. Trump. The body then proceeded to cast all eight its electoral votes for Vice President in favor of Mike Pence. The Electors then certified their votes and adjourned the meeting.
Outside the chamber, some electors faced pressure to change their votes. On the capitol steps, a small group of protesters called for them to 'dump Trump.'
"His platform and campaign were built on hatred and regression and we need to be looking forward and not backwards," said protester Elliott Mitchell.
Over the past few weeks, electors said they had received tens of thousands of emails, in addition to letters, raising concerns about Trump's possible conflicts of interest, as well as the alleged Russian hacks. More than 90 percent of those emails, they said, came from out of state.
"Statements they were making about Trump being totally misfit for office were totally unfounded," said elector Charlie Buckels, referencing the emails he had received.
When the electors were selected, they pledged to vote for the Republican nominee, according to Roger Villere, who chairs the Louisiana Republican Party. Nothing in those emails, the electors said, caused them to go back on their word.
"In order to go past that, something significant would have had to have taken place, and in my estimation, that did not happen. There was no reason to change my vote," Harsch said.
Villere released the following statement upon the conclusion of the day's events:
Louisiana's electors include: Garrett C. Monti, at large; Steven "Scott" Wilfong, at large; Christopher David Trahan, 1st Congressional District; Lloyd A. Harsch, 2nd Congressional District; Charles "Charlie" Buckels, Jr., 3rd Congressional District; Louis R. Avallone, 4th Congressional District; Kay Kellogg Katz, 5th Congressional District; and Lennie H. Rhys, 6th Congressional District. If one of the electors doesn't attend, an alternative elector will take his or her place.
Votes are being formalized across the country, but there is a push to have electors vote for someone other than Trump.
Nearly 5 million people have signed petitions asking electors to switch. The eight electoral ballots will now be sent to Washington, where Congress will formally tally the ballots from across the country in early January.