Warren casts electoral vote for Trump

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Cherry Warren, Barry County presiding commissioner and 7th congressional district presidential elector, signs documents certifying his vote in the Missouri meeting of presidential electors in Jefferson City Monday afternoon. The electors picked Donald Trump and Mike Pence by a 10-0 vote. Jacob Brower/jbrower@cassville-democrat.com

7th District elector received 70,000 emails, hundreds of letters

JEFFERSON CITY -- Barry County Presiding Commissioner did something on Monday only 538 people across the United States had an opportunity to do -- cast Electoral College ballots for president and vice president.

The 7th Congressional District representative, Warren and the nine other electors in Missouri each cast their ballots during a 50-minute session at the state capitol in Jefferson City, with Donald Trump receiving 10 votes for president, and Mike Pence receiving 10 for vice president.

"I was proud to represent the 7th District and my home county in the Electoral College," he said. "It was my first time to be an elector, and I'm pretty sure it will be my last."

Warren said leading up to the vote, he received copious amounts of emails, letters and phone calls, mostly attempting to sway him from voting for Trump.

"I had 11,000 emails over the weekend, and 60,000 emails total," he said. "The letters came in by the hundreds. I had 300 alone on Saturday. There were a lot of form letters some organization had put together.

"Of the phone calls, 99 percent were very respectful. They were mostly trying to get me to vote a different way. The majority asked me to vote for [Democratic Candidate] Hillary [Clinton], and others said vote for anyone but Trump. They were trying to get the vote [for president] to the House of Representatives."

Warren said he received many letters at home, but some came into his office at the county courthouse, and the emails came through his county address. The phone calls, he said, were to his business, home and cell phones.

"During my career in politics, I've always felt as an office holder, you need for people to be able to get ahold of you," he said. "My cell phone number is on the office's answering machine, and I've just felt you always need to be available."

Warren said although he enjoyed the experience, there are certain parts of being an elector he is glad are over.

"I won't miss the letters or the phone calls, but I have to say it has been a rewarding experience, and I have enjoyed it," he said. "I again want to thank the people of the 7th District for giving me the honor to represent them."

Warren said he arrived in Jefferson City in anticipation of the vote on Sunday evening. The electors arrived at the capitol at 1:30 p.m. Monday, and the meeting was called to order at 2 p.m. The agenda included a roll call, review of procedures, separate ballots cast for president and vice president, and the announcement of the results. Each elector then signed five certificates executing the vote as official. In total, Warren said it lasted about 50 minutes.

"We did change one thing on the agenda," he said. "One of the electors gave an invocation, and then we said the Pledge of Allegiance."

Warren said despite all the calls and letters, his mind had never been changed on how he planned to vote.

"This was one of the most contentions elections, and I heard there was more lobbying pressure on electors than any time in the country's history," he said. "But, I represent the 7th District and I believe the way they do, so I never had second thoughts."

Based on unofficial returns, Barry County had 14,830 votes cast, or almost 73 percent turnout. Countywide, the Trump/Pence ticket earned 78 percent of the vote.

On Monday, 538 electors nationwide voted 304 for Trump and 227 for Clinton.

The election also marked only the only the fifth time in history the candidate with the most total votes did not win the Electoral College vote, as Clinton garnered 65,788,583 total votes to Trump's 62,955,363 -- a difference of more than 2.8 million votes.

Trump's inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2017.

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