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Electors in West Virginia met Monday to cast their votes for president and vice president. As expected, the state’s five electoral votes went to Donald Trump and Mike Pence, respectively.
In a ceremony streamed online, Gov. Jim Justice and Secretary of State Mac Warner oversaw the ballots cast by the electors.
“Today we are fulfilling our civic duty — our civic duty to our country,” Justice said. “And it is a very, very important event.”
Similar processes played out across the nation Monday, as electors from each state met to cast their respective final votes for president and vice president.
Lewis Rexroad and Beth Bloch represented West Virginia’s 1st and 2nd Congressional districts, while Justice himself served as the elector representing the state’s 3rd District. Paul Hartling and Gary Duncan served as at-large electors, accounting for the state’s two U.S. Senators.
The group was chosen by the state Republican Party ahead of the November election.
“In West Virginia, our electors were chosen earlier this summer in a political process by the parties. It’s up to the parties as to how the electors are chosen,” Warner explained. “So when West Virginia voters cast their ballots on Nov. 3, they were actually choosing the candidates’ electors who will cast the state’s electoral votes today.”
Warner described the West Virginia’s electoral college vote as a three-step process — with the first step taking place last week when all 55 counties and the state certified its results.
“We are about ready to engage in steps two and three. Step two is the actual individual casting of the electoral college votes,” Warner said. “And step three is the collective, that is the West Virginia certification of votes.”
Warner noted that state and federal law does not prevent so-called faithless electors from voting for a candidate who did not win the popular vote. He said, though, parties do ask electors to take an oath to cast their votes for those who won the state.
Each of the state’s five electors faithfully cast ballots for Trump and Pence. In the general election, Trump won the state by 39 percentage points over Democrat Joe Biden.
Although West Virginia’s five votes went to Trump for president, President-elect Joe Biden could take as many as 306 electoral votes nationwide — more than the 270 needed to secure the White House.
Late last week, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey signed on to a lawsuit challenging the results of the election in four highly contentious states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — brought to the U.S. Supreme Court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
The suit alleged that election processes in those states — altered because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — were unconstitutional. The effort garnered the support of both Justice and Warner, but the nation’s high court announced Friday evening that they refused to hear the case.