The 538-member Electoral College sealed Republican Donald Trump’s victory on Monday, formalising his Nov. 8 election and making him officially the 45th elected U.S. President.
The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the U.S. reports that Trump took to his twitter handle to break the news of his victory to his supporters.
“We did it! Thank you to all of my great supporters, we just officially won the election (despite all of the distorted and inaccurate media),” Trump said.
“Today marks a historic electoral landslide victory in our nation’s democracy.
“I thank the American people for their overwhelming vote to elect me as their next President of the United States.
“This election represents a movement that millions of hard working men and women all across the country stood behind and made possible.
“With this historic step we can look forward to the bright future ahead.
“I will work hard to unite our country and be the President of all Americans,” Trump also said in a statement.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence also hailed Trump on Twitter as the results came in.
“Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the U.S. today by the Electoral College!”
Reports said Trump received 304 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 224, with six electors said to have voted for other candidates, costing Trump two votes and Clinton four.
However, Hawaii’s electors are reportedly still set to meet later on Monday, with the state’s four votes expected to go to Hillary Clinton, who won the popular votes by almost three million.
The result will be officially announced on Jan. 6, 2017 in a special joint session of Congress.
Vice President Joe Biden will open the electoral votes before a joint session of the new Congress, where they will be counted and certified.
In the U.S., the Vice President is the President of the Senate.
The Electoral College met in all the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Afterwards, the president-elect will be communicated to officially to arrive at the Capitol Hill on Jan. 20 for his inauguration.
Under U.S. law, electors must formally vote for the president and vice-president before they can lead the country.
Trump’s victory in various states in the Nov. 8 election put him in line to get 306 of the 538 electoral college votes as against Clinton’s 232, according to projections.
Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million votes.
But the former president took solace in his wife’s victory margin in the popular vote. “I’m very proud of that,” he told reporters outside the legislative chambers.
Trump has rejected the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia hacked Clinton allies’ email and used WikiLeaks to make them public. He and some key supporters have resisted calls for a congressional investigation.
“For the good of the country, Democrats must stop their cynical attempts to undermine the legitimacy of this election, which Donald Trump won decisively in the Electoral College with more votes than any Republican since 1988,” Republican National Committee co-chairwoman Sharon Day said.
One of the day’s more colorful elector gatherings was in Olympia, Wash. There, in defiance of a state law that binds the state’s 12 electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote, which was Clinton, four of them risked a $1,000 fine by abandoning her. Three voted for Powell and the fourth for Spotted Eagle.
It was the first time in four decades that the state’s electors had not supported its popular-vote winner. Secretary of State Kim Wyman said she would enforce the “faithless voter” law against the wayward electors, but released no details.
Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine received eight Washington votes for vice president, but the remaining four went to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Winona LaDuke, a Native American activist.
Washington is one of 29 states where electors are legally bound to vote for the state’s popular vote winner. A federal judge has rejected a court challenge to the state’s law.
In Maine, one elector, David Bright, tried to cast his electoral ballot for Sanders. When his move was ruled improper, he switched to Clinton. But Sanders ended up getting one vote after all, from the day’s final Electoral College meeting, in Hawaii.
In at least two other states that have laws requiring electors to follow the popular vote, electors were replaced when they said they would not vote for Clinton, who had won their states.
In Minnesota, a former Sanders delegate, Muhammad Abdurrahman, said he would cast a blank ballot and was quickly replaced by an alternate who voted for Clinton, The Associated Press reported. In Colorado, Michael Baca, who had led the abortive effort to have Democrat electors ally with Republicans behind someone other than Trump, tried to vote for Kasich, but was also replaced by a pro-Clinton elector.