Electors vote for president: what to expect

What do their votes mean, and how are they really choosing our president?

Donald Trump
File - In this May 6, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Omaha, Neb. Trump touts his presidential campaign as a mass movement, yet the billionaire’s Oval Office ambitions are likely to hinge on marginal shifts in an American electorate that twice gave Barack Obama comfortable victories. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The nation’s 538 members of the electoral college cast their ballots Monday to confirm or reject Donald Tump as our next president, though we won’t know that for sure until January 6th.

When you voted in November, you really decided which electors will be voting for a particular candidate. Massachusetts has 11 electors, each whom voted at 3:00 p.m. As with every state, the number of electors is based on the number of members of Congress that state has. Those electors typically meet at their state’s capitol to cast 2 votes: one for president, one for vice president.

Alyssa Hammond of Hatfield told 22News, “I think they might keep it as Trump, which is shocking, but I have a feeling they’re going to keep it that way.”

Though Clinton won the popular vote with nearly 3 million more votes, Trump won 306 electors. He only needs 270 electoral votes to officially become president. Here’s the catch: an elector doesn’t have to vote according to their state, and this has already happened historically 157 times. So if an elector decides to vote against what the state wants, that elector – except in Texas or Georgia – will be fined $1,000.

Massachusetts’ 11 electors cast ballots for Hillary Clinton

In order to stop Trump, 37 electors would have to flip their votes. The electoral college has never changed the outcome of an election, and it’s doubtful this will be the first. Carla Ness of Cummington agrees, telling 22News, “I think there will be a few electors who will change their vote, but I don’t think they’ll be enough to sway the vote.” Chris Suprun of Texas is the only elector who has publicly announced he won’t be giving his vote to Trump.

If there’s a tie between Trump and Clinton, the House of Representatives choose the president, and the Senate chooses the Vice President