America’s Electoral College has on Monday made Donald Trump‘s victory official, despite a last-ditch campaign by Democrats hoping against the odds its members could revolt and keep the Republican billionaire out of the White House.
Normally, this step in a US presidential election is a rubber stamp formality that tends to go unnoticed. Not this time.
The country is bitterly divided following Trump‘s shock win over Hillary Clinton, with the Democrat finishing nearly three million votes ahead in the popular tally.
Plus, there’s uproar over allegations of Russian hacking of Democrats during the campaign to sway the vote in favor of Trump.
When US voters cast their ballots on November 8, they did not directly elect the next president but rather 538 electors charged with translating their wishes into reality.
Trump won a clear majority of those electors: 306. At least 270 are needed for election.
Electors — most of them party members without name recognition — gathered Monday in each state plus the District of Columbia that houses the capital Washington to officially designate the next president and vice president.
In most states, electors must vote for whichever candidate won the popular tally in their state.