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Demonstrators fail to persuade Missouri electors to dump Trump

No surprise: Missouri has officially cast its 10 presidential electoral votes for Donald Trump.

Roughly 100 demonstrators showed up at the Capitol to call on the state's presidential electors to vote against Trump and send the election to the U.S. House of Representatives. But in the end, all voted Trump for president, then Mike Pence for Vice President.

Sherry Kuttenkuler of Tipton cast the vote for Missouri's fourth congressional district, and afterward she defended the Electoral College process to reporters.

"Alexander Hamilton, which all of (the protesters) want to quote, is actually the one that came up with this compromise to help them to count that ballot so that it wasn't mob rule (or) straight democracy," she said. "We are a constitutional republic, and this is proof of that."

She continued, "Think about it. In every election, if it was strictly raw votes, New York, Florida and California would call every federal election. We don't want that."

One of the demonstrators, Cindy Lane of Fenton, said Missouri's electors failed to do their duty.

"They should have done their homework," Lane said. "The Electoral College was built on the fact that we're supposed to keep unfit people from being president. And I think in a short time, upon being elected, (Trump) has shown everybody in the world that he is not fit to be president."

Many of the demonstrators cited reports of Russia interfering with the presidential election as reason for Missouri's electors to reject Trump.

"If our election has been interfered with by a foreign country, you would be real hesitant to trust how the vote turned out," said Rusti Levin of St. Louis. "I do not trust one vote, let alone 61 million votes. If they voted for Trump, great; but maybe those people didn't vote for Trump."

But Kuttenkuler said allegations of interference from a foreign country was not sufficient grounds for her to change her vote. She told reporters that two women called her home expressing concerns over it.

Credit Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri's electoral votes were reviewed after being cast.

"I asked them, 'Was there any Russian interference at your precinct when you went to go vote?' They said, 'Well, no,'" Kuttenkuler said. "Were there any Russians (at your county courthouse) interfering with the vote? And they said 'No,' and was there any interference at the secretary of state's office? They said 'No.' So I said, 'Then why are we making this non-issue an issue here?'"

When asked, she did say that it is the job of Congress to investigate any wrongdoing connected to the presidential election: "Yes, of course we should do that, if there is something to address."

Missouri's electoral college members cast their votes in the state Senate lounge and were allowed to invite friends and family to attend. On top of that, 30 members of the general public were allowed to draw numbers and gain admission.

A few of them voiced their opinions out loud after the results were announced, with at least one audience member called Missouri's presidential electors "traitors" for voting for Trump.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.