Minnesota elector goes rogue as Trump is confirmed as the next president

Minnesota's electors – by law – have to vote for whichever candidate won the state. One of them decided not to.
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Minnesota affirmed Hillary Clinton as the state's choice for president – but only after a rogue elector slowed things down.

The state's Electoral College Assembly, which is made up of 10 electors (the number of electoral college votes we have), met at the State Capitol Monday to cast their votes. It's part of the process to officially confirm Donald Trump as the next president of the United States. These assemblies were held in every state Monday.

But the whole process got a lot more attention this go-around following the contentious presidential campaign, the fact that Clinton won the popular vote by 2.8 million, and that the CIA and FBI believe Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win. Slate even live-blogged the day as votes were tallied.

Here's what happened in Minnesota today.

Minnesota's faithless elector

During Minnesota's assembly, there were a few disruptions from people who wanted the vote delayed until after the investigation into Russia's actions, the Star Tribune says. That's despite the fact that all of Minnesota's electors are required by law to vote for Clinton, since she won the state on Nov. 8.

But not all of the state's electors followed that rule. Muhammad Abdurrahman went rogue, casting his vote for Bernie Sanders instead of Clinton.

Doing this is called being a "faithless elector." As a result, Abdurrahman's vote wasn't counted and he was replaced with an alternate, allowing the assembly to continue and affirm Minnesota's 10 electoral votes for Clinton.

Minnesota's last faithless elector was in 2004, when someone voted for "John Ewards" [sic] for president, MinnPost explains. Edwards had been on the ballot as Democrat John Kerry's running mate. It's not really clear if the elector made a mistake or if it was a protest.

The New York Times says six total electors nationwide declined to vote for their party's nominee – that's tied with the 1808 election for the most of all time. Four people who were supposed to vote for Clinton cast their votes for someone else, while two should-have-been Trump votes went elsewhere, the paper says.

That's different from what some Trump opponents were hoping for, with Reuters calling Monday's vote an "Electoral College surprise" because there were efforts to get Republican electors to not cast their votes for Trump.

In an update Tuesday morning, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said there were seven faithless electors Monday. Here's the breakdown:

The state's Electoral College Assembly, which is made up of 10 electors, met at the State Capitol Monday to cast their votes. It's part of the process to confirm Donald Trump as the next president of the United States (these assemblies are being held in every state Monday).

But the whole process is getting a lot more attention this go-around following the contentious presidential campaign, the fact that Clinton won the popular vote by 2.865 million, and that the CIA and FBI are investigating how Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win. Slate even live-blogged the day as votes were tallied.

Minnesota's faithless elector

During Minnesota's assembly, there were a few disruptions from people who wanted the vote delayed until after the investigation into Russia's actions, the Star Tribune says, despite the fact that all of Minnesota's electors are required by law to vote for Clinton after she won the state on Nov. 8.

But not all of the state's electors followed that rule. Muhammad Abdurrahman went rogue, casting his vote for Bernie Sanders instead of Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Doing this is called being a "faithless elector." As a result, Abdurrahman's vote wasn't counted and he was replaced with an alternate, allowing the assembly to continue and affirm Minnesota's 10 electoral votes for Clinton.

Minnesota's last faithless elector was in 2004, when someone voted for "John Ewards" [sic] for president, MinnPost explains. Edwards had been on the ballot as Democrat John Kerry's running mate. It's not really clear if the elector made a mistake or if he did so out of protest.

There are reports of a few other electors nationwide who went rogue. But they all seemed to be those who were supposed to vote for Clinton. That's despite some efforts to convince Republicans to vote for someone other than Trump to keep the president-elect from the 270 confirmed votes he needs to be the next president. (If every elector votes according to their state's results, Trump would have a total of 306 electoral votes.)

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