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Pa. electors brush off pressure, cast all 20 votes for Trump

Elector Tina Pickett casts her ballot during Pennsylvania's 58th Electoral College at the state Capitol in Harrisburg Monday. Members of Pennsylvania's 58th Electoral College met at the state Capitol amid demonstrations by hundreds of protesters to cast the state's 20 electoral votes for President-elect Donald Trump. Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania by fewer than 45

Elector Tina Pickett casts her ballot during Pennsylvania's 58th Electoral College at the state Capitol in Harrisburg Monday. Members of Pennsylvania's 58th Electoral College met at the state Capitol amid demonstrations by hundreds of protesters to cast the state's 20 electoral votes for President-elect Donald Trump. Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania by fewer than 45

All 20 of Pennsylvania’s electors have voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence as President and Vice President of the United States.

The tally came as no surprise, since electors very rarely defect from their party’s presidential candidate.

But that didn’t stop protesters in Harrisburg from making their unhappiness known. Crowds of people toting anti-Trump posters, flags, and pro-Clinton paraphernalia took over the Capitol’s front steps and rotunda all morning, waiting for electors to make their choice.

As the pomp and circumstance of the vote unfolded — somberly — on the state House’s chamber floor, shouts from the 100 or so people assembled outside could be heard clearly.

“Vote no,” was a common refrain, as was “vote your conscience.”

After the ballots were cast for Trump, the crowds began to slowly disperse, disheartened.

Julia Allen is with a grassroots group called It’s Not Over Yet, which formed shortly after the election. She and several other activists spent the entire night out in front of the Capitol.

Allen said she wasn’t necessarily expecting a mass defection from electors, but she thought perhaps a few would cast a protest ballot.

Still, she said she still doesn’t want to give up.

“We’re still waiting to hear how the other states went,” she said. “I mean the next step is taking on the House.”

Elector Ash Khare said he was never swayed. He added that his conscience is clear.

“I received over 70,000 emails. I’ve received over 5,000 letters. I’ve received over 500 phone calls at all times of day and night,” he said. “I tell them, I’m not going to change my mind.”

Most of the electors reflected similar feelings.

The group was made up of firm Trump supporters like Khare, and senior officials of the Pennsylvania Republican Party.

As the unanimous vote was called, a mix of boos and cheers went up from the House floor and gallery, and yells of “he’s not our president” echoed in the chamber.

Trump’s inauguration is Jan. 20.

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