North Dakota officially awards electoral votes to Trump

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s presidential electors on Monday officially awarded the state’s three electoral votes to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The state’s three electors — Sandy Boehler of Fargo, Robert Wefald of Bismarck and John Trandem of Reiles Acres — met in the Capitol building’s Prairie Room on Monday in one of the final steps of the 2020 presidential election. The three electors, as well as state officials administering the ceremony, wore masks and sat spaced apart during the live-streamed ceremony.

“The gravity of this moment should inspire and remind us how fortunate we are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Republican Gov. Doug Burgum said during the ceremony.

Burgum presided over the meeting, which took less than a half hour, as Secretary of State Al Jaeger administered the vote. Trandem replaced state Sen. Ray Holmberg, who recused himself due to COVID-19 quarantine.

Trandem replaced state Sen. Ray Holmberg as an elector at the last minute, after Holmberg recused himself because of a COVID-19 quarantine.

Trump received more than 65% of the popular vote in North Dakota, winning the state by more than 120,000 votes in November’s general election.

Monday is the day set by law for the meeting of the Electoral College. In reality, electors meet in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to cast their ballots. The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.

The electors’ votes have drawn more attention than usual this year because President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election and continues to make unsupported allegations of fraud.