Through boos, cheers and protests Monday, one thing was clear:
Donald Trump has officially become president-elect of the United States.
Trump easily won the White House, even after protests and a late effort to sway members of the Electoral College. Electors from across the country made the outcome of November’s election official. The vote count in Texas put Trump over the 270 electoral bar he needed to clear to become president.
In state after state, demonstrators rallied to try to get electors pledged to Trump to change their vote. But it made no difference: the businessman claimed the victory he earned at the ballot box in November.
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The Electoral College has 538 members, with the number allocated to each state based on how many representatives it has in the House plus one for each senator. The District of Columbia has three electors.
Missouri’s electoral vote outcome was as certain as that in Kansas — all 10 of Missouri’s electors had cast their ballots for Trump and running mate Mike Pence when the votes were counted shortly after 2 p.m.
But the run-up to the vote was raucous. After standing in the cold outside the Capitol for more than two hours, 100 anti-Trump demonstrators lined up outside the ornate Senate Lounge, chanting and demanding electors re-consider their votes.
Some carried signs. Others wore duct tape across their mouths, or on their foreheads.
“People say this is futile, that Trump’s going to be elected,” said Judith Peavey of Springfield. “But I have to do something, because I am so against everything he stands for.”
Paul Duckworth, also of Springfield, agreed.
“I have the opportunity now to speak my conscience,” he said, “and to represent the views of a majority of voters.”
But two dozen Trump supporters were just as adamant — their candidate won, they said, fair and square.
“It’s inevitable that Trump is our next president,” said Erich Albert of Columbia. “It’s typical Democrats. If it was Republicans they would have accepted the inevitable.”
Tom Mendenhall of Columbia called Electoral College opponents whiners.
“There’s always something. It’s the blame game now,” he said.
In Topeka, Kansas’ six Electoral College members cast their votes for Trump.
More than 50 people crowded into the Kansas Senate gallery to watch the electors cast their ballots. There were loud boos mixed with scattered cheers when it became clear that Trump and Pence had won the state’s votes.
In Jefferson City, the two sides filed into the Senate Lounge and sat next to each other uneasily as the electors walked in to cast their ballots.
One Missouri elector was absent: Tom Brown of Kansas City. After the vote, two electors said questions had been raised about Brown’s eligibility to serve as an elector.
He was replaced by Cindy O’Laughlin of Shelbina before the voting began.
Casey Crawford of Lee’s Summit voted for Trump, as he had promised.
“I cast my ballot in accordance with the will of the people of the state of Missouri,” he said after the voting ended.
Sally Miller, also an elector from Kansas City, called the vote daunting.
“It's a very sobering thing to be an elector, especially this year,” she said.
Miller and Crawford said they were not intimidated by the protesters in the audience. Some anti-Trump demonstrators shouted “traitor” and “shame” as the votes were announced.
Trump supporters quickly answered back. “Get over it,” one said.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who presided over the vote in Topeka, was a vocal Trump supporter during the campaign. He had to quiet the crowd from outbursts several times.
Some members of the audience stood with their backs to the Electoral College members while they voted.
“Remember the times to come,” one protester yelled. “The blood is on your hands.”
“We need a hero,” another said.
“Shame on you!” another person yelled down to the electors.
Others joined and shouted about their fear and frustrations of a Trump presidency.
“That’s the First Amendment,” Kobach said after the meeting was adjourned. “You have a right to be wrong. And no one in government can stop you. ”
Electors had been flooded with requests that they vote against Trump. Though the election results on Nov. 8 showed that Trump was the winner, the Electoral College and its state-by-state tally of votes formally picks the president. Democrat Hillary Clinton lost the election despite building a nationwide popular vote lead of almost 3 million votes.
The last-minute protest effort, which included personalized videos from American celebrities, hoped to deny Trump his final hurdle to the White House. In Kansas, that effort did nothing to sway the six Republicans tasked with casting a ballot.
Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes, one of the state’s electors, said he was proud of his vote for Trump and called it a historic moment. And he said he didn’t look at the crowd that had gathered in the gallery as they yelled and booed the electors.
“This is the process,” Estes said. “People have the opportunity to protest if they want to.”
Trump was projected to win 306 electoral votes based off the election night results. More than 30 Republican electors would have needed to vote against Trump to keep him from becoming president outright.
In Kansas, a small crowd of fewer than 10 people had gathered in front of the Senate around two hours before the vote. They said they didn’t even really want to protest the vote, but rather to show that they didn’t think Trump should become the next president. Around 20 people also briefly protested in freezing temperatures outside of the Capitol.
Barbara Holzmark, from Leawood, said she was a lifelong Republican. But in November she’d voted for Clinton, saying that Trump struck her as not being “qualified at all.”
“I don’t think he’s a statesman,” Holzmark said. “I don’t think he’s a leader.”
And Dawn Olney, a Democrat from Prairie Village, said she hoped objections like hers may lead to the Electoral College being thrown out.
“I don’t think they’re going to change their minds,” Olney said before the vote. “... Sometimes we just have to show up, to let them know we’re here.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.