Associated Press
In this Sept. 25, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Vandalia, Ohio.

SALT LAKE CITY — Six Utah presidential electors cast their ballots Monday for Mitt Romney, who beat President Barack Obama in the state's general election but lost his bid for the White House.

Members of the Electoral College cast ballots around the country Monday in the vote that technically determines the outcome of the presidential race, giving Obama well over the 270 electoral votes he needed to secure a second term over his Republican challenger. 

Unlike some states that allow electors to vote contrary to election results, Utah's six electoral votes all must go to the state's top vote-getter, said Justin Lee, state deputy director of elections. 

Each political party with a presidential candidate on the Utah ballot chooses electors, but it's those selected by the political party whose nominee wins in Utah who end up casting the official ballots sent to Congress.

The Utah Republican electors who voted Monday included state GOP Chairman Thomas Wright, Attorney General-elect John Swallow, former state party chairman Stan Lockhart and former gubernatorial candidate Fred Lampropoulos.

Lee said the balloting, held in the Utah Supreme Court chambers at the state Capitol, lasted only about 10 minutes and was witnessed by elementary and high school students.

There was applause when the six ballots were announced for Romney, Lee said. Romney, the leader of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and a Mormon like many Utahns, won nearly 73 percent of the state's vote in November.

Lisa Riley Roche

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