WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) -- There were many protesters but few faithless electors as Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote Monday -- ensuring that the billionaire will become America's 45th president.
An effort by anti-Trump forces to persuade Republican electors to abandon the president-elect came to practically nothing and the process unfolded largely according to its traditions. Trump's polarizing victory Nov. 8 and the fact Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the national popular vote had stirred an intense lobbying effort, but to no avail.
Even one of Trump's fiercest Republican rivals, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said it was time to get behind the president-elect.
"We want unity, we want love," Kasich said as Ohio's electors voted to back Trump at a statehouse ceremony. Kasich refused to endorse or even vote for Trump in the election.
It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes.
Befitting an election filled with acrimony, thousands of protesters converged on state capitols across the country Monday, urging Republican electors to abandon their party's winning candidate.
More than 200 demonstrators braved freezing temperatures at Pennsylvania's capitol, chanting, "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!" and "No treason, no Trump!"
In Madison, Wisconsin, protesters shouted, cried and sang "Silent Night." In Augusta, Maine, they banged on drums and held signs that said, "Don't let Putin Pick Our President," referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite the noise outside state Capitols, inside, the voting went pretty much as planned.
In Nashville, Tennessee, one audience member tried to read out some Scripture before the ballots were cast, but was told he could not speak.
"We certainly appreciate the Scripture," State Election Coordinator Mark Goins said from the podium. "The answer is no."
With all Republican states reporting, Trump only lost the two electors in Texas. Clinton lost four electors in Washington state -- three voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell and one voted for Native American tribal leader Faith Spotted Eagle.
Several Democratic electors in other states tried to vote for protest candidates but they either changed their votes to Clinton or were replaced.
The Electoral College has 538 members, with the number allocated to each state based on how many representatives it has in the House plus one for each senator. The District of Columbia gets three, despite the fact that the home to Congress has no vote in Congress.
Republican electors were deluged with emails, phone calls and letters urging them not to support Trump. Many of the emails are part of coordinated campaigns.
In Atlanta, Gov. Nathan Deal empathized with GOP electors.
"I, too, regret that you have been the subject of harassment by those who perhaps are not as dedicated to the proposition of what this body is supposed to do as they are agitated by the fact that the people didn't do what they wanted them to do," Deal told the state's 16 electors, who all voted for Trump.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, elector Charlie Buckels reached out to Trump's opponents after the New York businessman got all of the state's eight votes.
"For those of you who wished it had gone another way, I thank you for being here," said Buckels, the state GOP finance chairman. "I thank you for your passion for our country."
There is no constitutional provision or federal law that requires electors to vote for the candidate who won their state -- though some states require their electors to vote for the winning candidate.
Those laws, however, are rarely tested. More than 99 percent of electors through U.S. history have voted for the candidate who won their state. Of those who refused, none has ever been prosecuted, according to the National Archives.
Some Democrats have argued that the Electoral College is undemocratic because it gives more weight to less populated states. That is how Clinton, who got more than 2.8 million more votes nationwide, lost the election to Trump.
Some have also tried to dissuade Trump voters by arguing that he is unsuited to the job. Others cite the CIA's assessment that Russia engaged in computer hacking to sway the election in favor of the Republican.
"When the founders of our country created (the Electoral College) 200-plus years ago, they didn't have confidence in the average white man who had property, because that's who got to vote," said Shawn Terris, a Democratic elector from Ventura, California. "It just seems so undemocratic to me that people other than the voters get to choose who leads the country."
A joint session of Congress is scheduled for Jan. 6 to certify the results of the Electoral College vote, with Vice President Joe Biden presiding as president of the Senate. Once the result is certified, the winner -- almost certainly Trump -- will be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Meanwhile at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida Monday, Trump tapped another billionaire businessman for an administration job. He named Army veteran and fellow New Yorker Vincent Viola to be his secretary of the Army.
A West Point graduate, Viola adds to the list of former military men Trump has chosen for his Cabinet. His picks for defense secretary, homeland security secretary, national security adviser and deputy national security adviser are all retired military.
In a written statement, Trump praised Viola, the son of Italian immigrants, as ``living proof of the American dream'' and someone who has a lengthy history of engagement with national security issues. The Army secretary is the civilian head of the Army.
Viola grew up in Brooklyn, the first member of his family to attend college. He was trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and served in the 101st Airborne Division. He is a lawyer who started multiple businesses and bought the Florida Panthers hockey team for about $250 million in 2013.
Trump announced his choice for Army secretary from Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach, Florida, estate where he was spending the holidays with his family and continuing work on the transition.
He planned to meet Monday with Robert Lighthizer, a former deputy U.S. trade representative in the Reagan administration, and Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard commandant who oversaw the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
Trump has yet to name his choice for U.S. Trade Representative.
Trump also scheduled a meeting with R. Donahue Peebles, board chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Peebles is also founder, chairman and CEO of Peebles Corp., a real estate development and investment company.
J. Christopher Reyes, co-chairman of Reyes Holdings, a Chicago-based beer and food distributor, was also on Trump's meeting schedule for Monday, said Trump spokesman Jason Miller.
Back in New York, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was holding transition meetings, including a foreign policy discussion with Henry Kissinger, who was secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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