Republican Party officials representing Kansas in the Electoral College quickly and quietly cast the state's six votes for President Donald Trump during a drama-free meeting on Monday that belied weeks of turmoil stoked by Trump and his allies as they tried to overturn his election loss.
The Kansas GOP chairman said he wouldn't declare the election finally over with states' electors casting their ballots, only days after the state's Republican attorney general declared that it was time to move on following a key U.S. Supreme Court defeat for Trump and his allies.
The Kansas electors convened at noon in the Statehouse, choosing the House chamber as the venue so that they could remain socially distanced because of the coronavirus pandemic. There were no speeches, only instructions from state elections director Bryan Caskey, along with thanks and a few comments from his boss, Secretary of State Scott Schwab, who presided.
The event lasted 15 minutes, with a few minutes more for a group portrait of the electors afterward.
State GOP Chairman Mike Kuckelman said the Kansas meeting went quickly and without incident because Trump won the state “by a very solid margin.”
“There was no drama and, really, no suspense, on how it would go," Kuckelman said of the Kansas vote.
The electors submitted ballots first for president and then vice president, with Schwab and Caskey counting them separately. The electors then signed seven copies of documents verifying the results; two will go to Congress for its tabulation of electoral votes on Jan. 6.
Political parties choose their slates of electors under Kansas law, with only the group representing the party of the winning candidate voting. No Democratic presidential nominee has carried Kansas since President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and the GOP typically picks electors certain to remain loyal to the Republican nominee.
This year's group included Kuckelman, a current and former member of the Republican National Committee. Trump carried Kansas this year with more than 56% of the vote, while Democrat Joe Biden received less than 42%.
Biden carried enough states in the November election to win 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232. Nevertheless, Trump has clung to false claims that he won the election.
Trump's allies filed numerous legal challenges to the election results in multiple states, only to see them repeatedly rejected by state and federal judges.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt last week brought Kansas into an effort led by Texas' GOP attorney general to overturn Biden's victories in four crucial battleground states. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected it Friday.
Schmidt responded in a statement: "The Court’s decision means it is time to put this election behind us.”
But Kuckelman, a lawyer, said it's up to Trump and his team to decide when the election is over for them.
“It's not over until it's over, and I'm not the arbitrator of that issue,” Kuckelman said. “I'm a strong believer as a lawyer that everyone has the right to litigate any disputes that they have until they've had every opportunity, so with that, I think we need to keep an open mind.”