MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama's nine members of the Electoral College unanimously voted for Republican Donald Trump for president Monday during a ceremony marked with more pomp than drama.
Electors in Alabama and other states were inundated with letters, calls and emails urging them to reject Trump, but there wasn't much question which way Alabama would go — it's a heavily Republican state where Trump carried more than 60 percent of the vote against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Several dozen protesters marched and chanted outside the Capitol before the event, but spectators inside stood and applauded when all Alabama's electors stuck with Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence.
"Let the record show that the president-elect received more votes for the presidency than any candidate in the history of Alabama," said Secretary of State John Merrill, who presided over a 30-minute ceremony held in the same chamber where Alabama voted to secede from the Union in 1861.
The Auburn University band played, and a member of the military sang the National Anthem.
Richard Rhone of Tuscaloosa, portraying Benjamin Franklin and dressed in Colonial garb, addressed the crowded chamber to cheers.
"This is an important event. This is the constitutional way we select the president and the vice president of the United States," he said.
Outside, dozens of Trump opponents held up signs urging the electors to abstain from voting or to vote for someone other than Trump. Demonstrator Russell Siebers, 30, said he was worried by Trump's harsh election rhetoric and possible conflicts of interest involving his businesses.
But leading state Republicans expressed nothing but praise for Trump. That included Gov. Robert Bentley, who at one point had said he couldn't vote for Trump because of the GOP nominee's crude sexual remarks about women.
"I'm very excited about our new president," said Bentley. "He has a great agenda, and I am supporting his agenda 100 percent."