Where Will Pennsylvania's Electors Meet?

One of the biggest upsets of the 2016 presidential election was that Pennsylvania — and its 20 electoral votes — voted for Donald Trump, the first time that state has voted for a Republican presidential candidate in decades. The loss of Pennsylvania to Republicans was seen as part of the fall of the so-called "blue firewall;" namely, those states that had consistently voted Democrat in previous years that Democrats believed were likely to remain "blue" for the foreseeable future. Pennsylvania's elector meeting in Harrisburg will be a hugely significant moment for Republicans, ton Dec. 19, as it will symbolize the GOP's overall Electoral College victory in a way few other states can.

After it became clear that Hillary Clinton would won the popular vote by a multimillion-vote margin (more than 2.5 million, according to the Cook Political Report, at the time of writing), Democrats in newly minted red states reportedly flooded their electors with calls to vote on behalf of the national majority. Democratic Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach has also introduced legislation to have the Keystone State join the National Popular Vote Compact, which as Daniel Craig at PhillyVoice explained, gives a state's "votes to the winner of the national popular vote in presidential elections, not the candidate who wins the most votes in the state."

Pennsylvania's electors have not publicly shown signs of budging, though, and it seems unlikely that many (if any) of the state's 20 electors will vote for anyone other than Donald Trump and Mike Pence.


According to the Pennsylvania Department of State website, electors are scheduled to meet in the state capital of Harrisburg on Dec. 19, 2016, when electors across the country will meet in their respective states to cast their ballots for president. The meeting will take place in the Chamber of the House of Representatives in the State Capitol Building at noon. Harrisburg is located slightly southeast of the state's center, a little over 100 miles from the state's most populous city, Philadelphia.

The day of the Electoral College vote may be fraught for local residents. Harrisburg is the seat of Dauphin County, which according to Politico went for Clinton in this election by a margin of about 6,000 votes. The county represented a rare blue spot in the state; urban areas around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia also voted for Clinton, but most of the state's rural population voted for Trump.

Additionally, due to to the close overall margin in Pennsylvania's popular vote, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has been championing a recount effort in the Keystone State, though financial and judicial barriers have complicated that effort in recent days. Despite the complications brought by the recount battle, though, it does seem certain that Pennsylvania's electors will meet in Harrisburg, as scheduled, to cast their ballots.