Tennessee has become the second state to cast its votes during Monday’s Electoral College meeting.
During a ceremonious event at the Tennessee House chamber, the state’s 11 electors voted for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump won Tennessee with more than 60% of the vote.
Still, at the end of the day, Joe Biden will have more than enough electoral votes to become the next president of the United States.
In Tennessee, the electors met at 9 a.m. Central Time. The meeting consisted largely of waiting for them to sign documents that would make their votes official. It also included multiple speeches from state election officials.
Mark Goins, the coordinator of elections, recognized this election year has been very challenging, especially for those in Tennessee.
“First, we conducted the presidential primary on the day where devastating tornadoes brought havoc in several counties in Tennessee,” Goins said.
He added that election administrators all across the state dealt with supply shortages as well as space shortage once the pandemic started.
After a roll call of the electors, which had to stand up and pose for a photo opportunity with a certificate given by Gov. Bill Lee, the group of six women and five men signed more documents. None of them spoke publicly.
Before adjourning the meeting, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said he hopes not to see such division again in the country.
“We have been through one of the most acrimonious elections that we have ever seen,” Hargett said. “I hope that’s the most acrimonious one that we’ll ever seen, and we can’t have another one like this.”
Hargett also urged electors to bring back civility into the state and the country.
“We need to bring civil discourse back to this arena and it has to start somewhere,” Hargett said. “I don’t see why it can’t start with those of us in this room and those who are watching today.”
Gov. Bill Lee continues to not recognize Biden
Reporters caught up with Lee after the program and asked whether he would be ready to recognize Biden as the president-elect by the end of the day, once the Electoral College votes were formalized.
Lee’s answer reflected that he won’t, at least for now.
“I think we’ll see after today where the process is and what challenges exist and don’t exist and where we are in that process,” he said.
His response is a change from last week, when he told reporters that he would recognize Biden after the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a lawsuit brought by the state of Texas challenging the election results in four other states. That lawsuit was dismissed Friday.