Alaska’s three electors vote for Trump with little incident

Jacqueline Tupou, Sean Parnell and Carolyn Leman sign their Electoral College votes for Donald Trump during a ceremony on Monday Jan. 19, 2016 in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney- Alaska’s Energy Desk)

Alaska’s three Electoral College members have cast their ballots for Donald Trump and Mike Pence for president and vice president of United States of America.

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In a packed room at the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building in Juneau on Monday morning, the Republican electors signed the official paperwork. The ceremony went without incident, except for one man sitting in the back row holding up a sign that read “Don’t let Putin win!

Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott said the electors have solemn responsibilities.

“Today, the Division of Elections plays a small part in fulfilling the constitutional duties of the Electoral College,” Mallott said.

Tradition and state law dictate that all three of Alaska’s electors vote for Trump, though the U.S. Constitution does not bind them.

One of the electors, Jacqueline Tupou of Juneau, has been especially vocal about wrestling with her role. She spoke with Pat Race in last week’s “Hello Alaska!” podcast.

“I’ve probably had at least 600 contacts from people,” Tupou said. “So my mailbox literally broke between all the letters in it, and the heavy snow that we’ve had here in Juneau. Also on Facebook people contact me, I’ve had a couple hundred messages there. And I’ve also been contacted on my personal email.”

The mail and other contacts did not sway her.

Just more than half the general election ballots cast in Alaska were for Republican Donald Trump. Democrat Hilary Clinton was a distant second with about 37 percent of the popular vote in the state.

Copies of the voting certificates are being sent to Vice President Joe Biden, the U.S. Archives, Mallott’s office for public inspection and Alaska’s chief federal judge.

A joint session of Congress is expected to formally count all the Electoral College votes on Jan. 5.

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Jeremy Hsieh is the deputy managing editor of the KTOO newsroom in Juneau. He’s a podcast fiend who’s worked in journalism since high school as a reporter, editor and television producer. He ran Gavel Alaska for 360 North from 2011 to 2016, and is big on experimenting with novel tools and mediums (including the occasional animated gif) to tell stories and demystify the news. Jeremy’s an East Coast transplant who moved to Juneau in 2008.

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