Oregon members vote Clinton, blast Russia
SALEM — All seven electoral college members of the Democratic Party of Oregon voted on Monday for Hillary Clinton. But they filed a formal objection to the process to allow for an investigation of "the interference of the Russian government in our election process."
Elector Frank Dixon, chairman of the Democratic Party in Oregon, read a statement denouncing Russia's alleged leak of information that favored Republican Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote but won enough states to send him to the White House in January. He also said the electoral college process "does not honor the principle of one person, one vote."
The majority of Oregon voters voted for Clinton in November. The Democratic electoral college members were pledged to vote for the candidate who won the state. Oregon Republican electoral college members did not vote because their candidate lost in the state.
Dixon's statement of objection for the record on behalf of all seven electors was applauded by about 200 spectators who filled the gallery overlooking the Senate chamber.
After the 20-minute ceremony in the Oregon State Capitol, Dixon was asked if he thought Trump's inauguration should be postponed pending conclusion of an investigation into Russia's alleged actions.
"I don't know," Dixon said. "The point today is that we believe the investigation should continue and get to the bottom of all of the facts, and then we'll see."
Dixon said it should be up to Congress and others to decide if the Oregon electors' objection is proper and should be followed up on.
Before the vote, several dozen protesters stood in a light rain on the Capitol steps, holding signs denouncing Trump. "PUTIN voted for Trump!" read one, with a hammer and sickle inside the red exclamation point.
Nicole Shelton, a housewife and mother from Irrigon, Oregon, said she came out to the protest "because I'm fighting oppression and an unfit president." She hoisted a sign that read: "Hate does not make America great."
All 538 members of the Electoral College are meeting in their respective states Monday to formally elect Trump president. In Oregon, the electors also chose Clinton's vice-presidential candidate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.