Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

No Surprises: Kentucky Electors Vote For Donald Trump

Ryland Barton

All eight of Kentucky’s electors have cast votes for Donald Trump and Mike Pence, who won the state’s popular vote in a landslide on Election Day.

About 75 anti-Trump protesters gathered on the state Capitol steps Monday morning to show their disapproval of the President-elect and try to get electors to change their votes.

After the results, Ben Taylor, a teacher from Louisville who showed up to the protests, called for the Electoral College to be eliminated after Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s loss. She won the popular vote.

“I feel strongly that my views have been stated as the popular view by the popular vote in the country — 2.8 million votes is a lot of votes,” Taylor said.

There have been five presidential elections in which the candidate who won the popular vote did not win a majority of votes in the Electoral College.

All 50 states cast their Electoral College votes Monday; each state has one elector per congressional seat and two at-large electors. Despite efforts of protesters across the country, no electors have voted contrary to how they were directed by the popular votes of their states.

During the official meeting of the electors in the state Supreme Court, Gov. Matt Bevin said he was grateful for the protesters exercising their rights, though he said he was “not sure” exactly what they were protesting.

“Nonetheless, the greatest thing about America is you can come without fear of challenge to your government on any front at any time,” Bevin said. “How fantastic it is that we live in America on this day and at this time.”

During the ceremony, Kentucky historian Ron Bryant gave a short history of the Electoral College, saying that in modern times, “a lot of people don’t even know the Electoral College exists.”

“And to be quite honest with you, when they go to the polls to vote for a president, they think they are voting for that president and not for these folks right here,” Bryant said, indicating Kentucky’s slate of eight electors.

Dylan George, a protester who works at an automotive plant in Frankfort and supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, said he attended the demonstration to show solidarity within the party.

“I think it’s now more of a time than ever for the two bases of the Democratic Party to sew themselves back together after what was really a divisive primary season, and really stand to take back what we can in 2018 and make Donald Trump a one-term president,” George said.

Clinton narrowly defeated Sanders in the state’s Democratic primary. The two candidates split Kentucky’s 55 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

On Election Day, Trump took the popular vote by a landslide in Kentucky. Almost twice as many voters in the state cast ballots for Trump over Clinton, with the president-elect winning a majority of votes in 118 counties — all but Fayette and Jefferson.

Mike Biagi, the Republican Party of Kentucky’s executive director, said the state results show that Kentuckians “expressed their will in a convincing manner.”

“Voters said in a loud and clear voice that they are tired of the failed policies of the past eight years and are hungry for change,” Biagi said.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
Related Content