Louisiana Electoral Voters Cast Ballots for Donald Trump

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 19, 2016 Updated: December 19, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La.—Louisiana’s eight presidential electoral voters cast their ballots Monday for Donald Trump, rejecting calls to snub the Republican president-elect in a state that had overwhelmingly supported him.

The formal ceremony in the Louisiana Senate chamber was short, taking less than an hour, and ended as expected, with all votes going to Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. A few boos were hissed from the Senate gallery, but none of the handful of protesters disrupted the proceedings.

“We’re pretty conservative in this state. We’re not going to shock,” said elector Kay Katz, a former state lawmaker from Monroe.

The event drew more attention than in prior years, after electors said they had received tens of thousands of emails, letters and phone calls from around the country urging them to reconsider voting for Trump. Katz said she received 70,000 emails.

Elector Lloyd Harsch, a history professor and pastor from New Orleans, thanked those who inundated him with correspondence before saying he cast his vote for Trump “with considered confidence and a clear conscience.”

“I will do the right thing and will be on the right side of history. I will heed the voices of the majority of voters in Louisiana,” Harsch said.

Trump received 58 percent of the Louisiana vote in November.

Harsch was the only elector to offer commentary ahead of his vote, and his vote for Trump elicited the only audible boos from the audience.

After the vote, Charlie Buckels, a Louisiana elector from Lafayette and state GOP finance chairman, said to those disappointed in Trump’s victory: “For those of you who wished it had gone another way, I thank you for being here. I thank you for your passion for our country.”

To start the proceedings, Secretary of State Tom Schedler administered oaths of office to the electors, calling it “an awe-inspiring event” and the election “one for the record books.”

During the vote, each elector stood and individually announced his or her decision, first for president and then for vice president and signed paperwork affirming that vote. A prayer ended the ceremony.

The state’s electors were chosen by the Republican Party from each of its six congressional districts and for two at-large positions.

Monday’s vote and ceremony were viewed by a small crowd and about a dozen state lawmakers, including Senate President John Alario and House Speaker Taylor Barras, both Republicans.