DENVER — There was chaos at the State Capitol on Monday during the meeting of the state’s Electoral College.
All nine of the state’s Electoral College votes were eventually cast for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, but not until a last-minute court filing, a conference with a judge and an elector being replaced for not voting in accordance with state law.
Clinton won Colorado with 1,338,870 votes (48.16 percent) to 1,202,484 votes (43.25 percent) for Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence. Trump won enough electoral votes in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to officially become president-elect.
At about 12:30 p.m., Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice ruled the disagreement over wording in the oath that electors were required to take was resolved and proceeded with the voting.
During the first vote, eight were cast for Clinton and one was not accepted because it was not for Clinton, as mandated by state law. The elector — Micheal Baca, who voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich — was replaced, and the new elector, Celeste Landry of Boulder, was sworn in and voted for Clinton.
There was booing and shouting directed toward Secretary of State Wayne Williams as Baca was replaced.
The vote came a few hours after two Democratic electors, Polly Baca and Robert Nemanich, filed another emergency motion in Denver District Court seeking to not have Williams administer the oath of office that has been used in previous years.
Williams planned to have electors swear to “faithfully perform the duties of the office” by voting for Clinton. He also had planned to have the electors swear to vote in Clinton, the winner of the popular vote.
A judge granted the electors’ motion, saying a new oath would have to be adopted as a new election rule by Williams. The secretary of state then issued an emergency rule to create a new oath.
The new oath required electors to say they “will vote for the presidential candidate and vice-presidential candidate who received the highest number of votes at the preceding general election in this state.”
Attorneys then conferred with Denver District Judge Elizabeth Starrs, who ruled the issue was resolved and the voting proceeded.
““The oath is consistent and complies with my court order less than an hour ago,” Starrs said.
Three electors said they would sign the oath “under duress.”
On Friday night, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down an emergency motion asking the court to unbind the electors’ votes, upholding a lower court’s ruling.
In the Dec. 12 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Daniel called the lawsuit a “political stunt.”
In a footnote in its ruling, the 10th Circuit said Williams’ plans to remove an elector if they vote the wrong way might be unconstitutional. That prompted Monday’s filing.
The oath that has been used in the past requires the electors to promise to “faithfully perform the duties of the office … upon which I am about to enter.”
Under state law, Colorado electors could face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine if they vote for someone other than Clinton.
Baca and Nemanich wanted the law ruled unconstitutional so it could affect other states with similar laws. That way, electors in states that Trump won could be freed to vote for someone other than the president-elect.
If it happened, they would have needed to persuade all 232 Democratic electors and 38 Republican electors to vote for someone else.
There are 29 states that require members of the Electoral College to vote for whoever won the popular vote in their state. So-called faithless electors might be subject to fines or could be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector.