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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Pinellas GOP chairman will still vote for Trump in electoral college



Florida presidential elector Nick DiCeglie, chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party, has gotten thousands of requests not to vote for Donald Trump.

But he still plans to cast a vote for the Republcian nominee when the electoral college meets Monday.

“I’m for obvious reasons voting for Donald Trump tomorrow,” DiCeglie said Sunday evening. “We elect our president via the electoral college, not the popular vote.”

Electors, he said, “have a duty to vote for the person who won in that state, and clearly that’s Donald Trump. He’s going to be the next president of the United States.”

Members of the electoral college — generally party activists and high-ranking elected officials, will convene Monday across the country to cast votes for president. Barring an unprecedented choice to break with their states’ popular votes, most of the electors will vote for Trump.

In Florida, the electors convene at 2 p.m. in the state Senate chambers in Tallahassee.

DiCeglie said he has gotten more than 10,000 requests to switch his vote. Some have advocated for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote, while others have pushed electors to vote for a different Republican, such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

One email, DiCeglie said, suggested a “unity ticket” of Kasich and Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine.

The emails picked up pace following news that the Russian government hacked Democratic organizations in an effort to change the outcome of the election. DiCeglie supports a congresional investigation into the hacks but said they do not lead him to doubt Trump’s legitimacy as a president-elect.

“Any American is concerned of the Russians attempting to hack whether the DNC, the RNC, I think any American should be concerned. This is not a partisan issue,” he said. “There has been no evidence whatsover that any single vote — whether it’s here or across the country — has been hacked by Russia or any other actors.

[Last modified: Sunday, December 18, 2016 5:47pm]


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