New York members of Electoral College vote for Clinton

New York members of Electoral College have cast their votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton

Former President William J. Clinton, of the New York state's Electoral College, salutes the crowd before voting for president in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink via AP, Pool)

Former President William J. Clinton, of the New York state's Electoral College, salutes the crowd before voting for president in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink via AP, Pool) (12/19/16)

ALBANY, N.Y. - New York's 29 members of the Electoral College cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton on Monday with one, former President Bill Clinton, saying that he's never cast a vote of which he is more proud.

Clinton won her state of residence in last month's election despite losing the overall presidential race to Republican Donald Trump.

The gathering of New York electors in the state Senate chambers in Albany had a bittersweet air, as many electors acknowledged their disappointment in the results. Bill Clinton praised his wife, the former secretary of state and senator from New York, for battling to the end, despite "that bogus email deal" and other challenges.

"She fought through everything," Clinton told reporters following the vote in the Senate chambers of the state Capitol in Albany. "We had the Russians and the FBI. She couldn't prevail against that."

In a rebuke to Trump, the electors agreed to donate their $15 compensation to the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group for immigrants and refugees.

Some also criticized the very institution that brought them together Monday, saying Clinton's popular vote win shows the need to change or eliminate the Electoral College.

"We cannot let the Electoral College continue to undermine the will of the people," said Elector Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. "It must be abolished."

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Capitol to oppose the president-elect and to urge electors in other states to vote for Clinton or another candidate, even if their states voted for Trump.

"Vote for Santa Claus. I don't care. Just not this man," said Albany resident Shari Hoffman.

Other New York electors included Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and other prominent Democrats.

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