The divided response to last month’s presidential election has thrust the arcane and often ceremonial institution of the Electoral College into the forefront of rough-and-tumble United States politics. The Associated Press attempted to contact all 538 electors before they vote Monday and found little interest in an insurrection. Here are the AP’s all-formats coverage plans for the coming days.
THURSDAY, DEC. 15
WASHINGTON — The Electoral College will soon convene and few of the Republican electors appear to be in the mood for an insurrection, despite fervent pleas by Democrats to abandon Donald Trump. By Cal Woodward and Rachel La Corte. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.
MEET THE ELECTORS
WASHINGTON — The sharp divisions left by last month’s presidential election have cast more attention than usual on the Electoral College. The Associated Press spoke to more than 350 electors to get an idea of the pressure they are under, what they think about their Constitutional duty and what they make of longshot efforts to derail Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House when they meet Monday. SENT: 1,200-word quote box.
WASHINGTON — Election Day isn’t the final step in picking a president: Under a system that’s been tweaked over two centuries, the election sets in motion a timeline and process by which the 538 members of the Electoral College select the president. SENT: 400 words, graphic.
WASHINGTON — The Founding Fathers set up the Electoral College to ensure that a well-informed, geographically diverse group of electors would choose the nation’s presidents. That sounds rational — and sometimes it even works. But the history of the Electoral College also includes tales of tie votes, hanging chads, conniving politicians and intrigue. By Nancy Benac. SENT: 900 words.
ELECTORAL COLLEGE-HOW IT WORKS
WASHINGTON — It’s time for America to get up to speed again on the Electoral College, that oddball way the nation selects its president every four years. AP Explains how and why the U.S. does it like this. By Nancy Benac. SENT: 350 words.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Clay Pell was a vocal supporter of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton throughout her long presidential campaign, but as one of the 538 members of the Electoral College he has toyed with casting his vote for a Republican. By Matt O’Brien. UPCOMING: 750 words by 4 p.m. Dec. 15, photos.
FRIDAY, DEC. 16
SULLIVAN, MO — Hector Maldonado had taken three oaths in life: one when he became a US citizen, one when he joined the National Guard, and another when he became a member of the Electoral College. The Mexican immigrant is proud to uphold his oath and vote for Donald Trump. By Summer Ballentine. UPCOMING: 550 words by 3 a.m. Dec. 16, photos.
SUNDAY, DEC. 18
ELECTORAL COLLEGE-RURAL DIVIDE
ATLANTA — As they prepare to formally elect Donald Trump president of the United States, some Republicans from less-populated states defend the Electoral College as the founders’ wise defense of rural and small-town America against the whims of large cities and states. By Bill Barrow. UPCOMING: 800 words by noon Dec. 18.
MONDAY, DEC. 19
ELECTORAL COLLEGE- VOTE
WASHINGTON — In state capitals around the country, 538 citizens will cast the votes that actually elect the president of the United States after digging out from under a deluge of emails, letters and phone calls trying to influence their decision. By Stephen Ohlemacher. UPCOMING: 600 words by 3 a.m. Dec. 19, photos, will be updated throughout the day.