LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s now official: Donald Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate to win Michigan since 1988.
The state’s 2016 electoral college unanimously confirmed what the public decided in November, granting 16 electoral votes to the president-elect.
But not everyone at the capitol building in Lansing was there to celebrate. Hundreds of anti-Trump protestors took to the capitol steps to protest the electoral college and urge electors not to vote for Donald Trump. It was part of an ill-fated nation-wide effort to convince electors not to cast their ballots for the man whose win shocked the nation in November.
“Donald Trump is the worst example of humanity that our country ever produced,” one protestor said.
“I think what I’m hoping for them (electors) to see is mainly that I don’t think Michigan wants to go back. We just want to keep being a progressive state,” protestor Kate Holmes told 24 Hour News 8.
When it came time for business, protestors could even be heard inside the closed doors of the Senate chambers.
“That’s part of the Democratic process. There’s freedom of speech, people can express their feelings,” Gov. Rick Snyder said of the protests.
But there were no surprises with the vote. All 16 Michigan electors — who were chosen by the state’s GOP party — cast their ballot for Trump and vice president-elect Mike Pence as expected. It was the same in other states, with Trump collecting the electoral votes nationwide to confirm his presidency.
After the vote, some Michigan electors said those trying to botch the vote took things beyond just protests.
“Unfortunately, the divisiveness of the election cycle bled over and I got a lot of death threats from people who wanted me to vote for Hillary Clinton,” said Michael Banerian, the elector chosen for Michigan’s 9th Congressional District.
Ultimately, Michigan requires that electors vote for the state’s winning candidate — if they don’t, they’re immediately replaced. Party leaders say that requirement is about more than just the law.
“The electors are representing the voters of Michigan and the voters of Michigan chose Donald J Trump,” said Michigan GOP Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, who has been tapped to lead the Republican National Committee.