By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/Capitol News Service) — Florida cast its 29 electoral votes for President Donald Trump Monday afternoon in the State Capitol.

Florida’s 29 electors come from all over the state.

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“Twenty-eight electors are present. One elector is not present,” chimed the reading clerk shortly after the 2:00 p.m. start and roll call.

The absent elector, Senate President Wilton Simpson tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. State Senator Jeff Brandes was elected to take his place.

“Obviously shocked,” was Brandes’ reaction.  “Our prayers are with him, as he’s kinda going through this right now. I spoke with him today and he’s in good spirits.”

Each of the Electors were hand-picked by the Republican Party of Florida.

“I was a surrogate for President Trump in the Jacksonville area,” said state Representative and Elector Jason Fischer. “I was an RNC delegate for the President.”

Fischer is proud to be one of the people making history as he described his fellow electors.

“Some elected. Some people are grassroots activists, and some people who have been active in the party for a very long time, said Fischer.

For many of the 29 Trump supporters, Monday’s vote was bittersweet.

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Dr. Roy Hinman is an Elector from St. Augustine.

“Well, as they say up North, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. I think that was Yogi Berra, so I don’t think the fat lady has sung up to this point, said Hinman.

Each elector signed and certified their vote as required by the Constitution.

“Thank you for performing your constitutional duty today,” said Secretary of State Laurel Lee after the votes were cast.

State GOP Chair Joe Gruters said even if President Trump’s challenges to overturn election results in other states fall short, he will still be a national force.

“Whether or not he starts preparing for the 2024 cycle. I think there’s a lot of people around the state that will continue to support him,” said the GOP Chair.

The Florida electors gathered on the same day that electors held similar meetings across the country and were expected to give Democrat Joe Biden more than the 270 electoral votes he needed to defeat Trump and move into the White House next month. Biden was lined up to receive 306 votes to 232 for Trump, whose campaign has lost dozens of legal challenges to the voting process and election results. Trump won Florida’s 29 electoral votes by beating Biden by more than three percentage points in the state on Nov. 3.

Florida’s electors weren’t willing to publicly declare Monday’s actions as final, as the electoral votes will go before a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.

Only once in the nation’s history, 1824, has the US House chosen a President after no candidate got a majority. It elected John Quincy Adams over Henry Clay.

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(©2020 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Capitol News Service’s Mike Vasalinda contributed to this report.) Team