In any other election year, the 538 members of the Electoral College voting in December to make the president-elect’s victory official would be a mostly unremarkable affair.

But 2016 is no ordinary election year.

For many in media, politics and entertainment, this normally low-key end-of-year procedural event is also the last best chance to stop President-elect Donald Trump.

A handful of actors cut videos imploring the electors not to award Trump the states he won, and many politicos have gone on television and social media to explain how the Electorate College has the power to block Trump from taking the White House.

The press has, for its part, hyped Monday’s vote as some sort of unpredictable and dramatic event. Some newsrooms have seemingly suggested there is a real possibility that Trump won’t be declared the official victor of the 2016 election.

Consider the following headlines, which were published this weekend and Monday morning:

From an op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times: “How the electoral college can contain President Trump.”

From Slate: “The Electoral College Votes Monday: Here’s What You Need to Know.”

From ABC News: “Electoral College: What to Know About Today’s Vote.”

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In a first-person account, Burhan Ozbilici recounted how he captured the moment on camera.

12/19/16 4:42 PM

From the Huffington Post: “What You Need To Know About The Electoral College Vote Today.”

From the New York Times: “The Electoral College Meets Monday. Here’s What to Expect.”

Each of these stories should begin and end with: “Donald Trump will be officially declared the winner of the election.” That these stories don’t do that, and that they go to great lengths theorizing about how the Electoral College can stop Trump, it suggests that, like certain pockets in Hollywood, they’ve been holding out hope for some sort of Electoral College Hail Mary.

It’s true that the Electoral College has the power to block the winning candidate. A faithless elector revolt is also within the realm of the possibilities.

But it’s also extremely unlikely, and there was really no indication this year that the electors were even considering a revolt, especially one big enough to swing fortune in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

Abortion rights supporters cite big victory, some defeats in 2016

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They won big at the Supreme Court against Texas rules, but other states advanced laws restricting access.

12/19/16 4:18 PM

As the voting continues Monday evening, it looks like there are not going to be any surprises. Were people really expecting something different?

Protesters scream at Electoral College voters not to pick Trump

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The protests took place at state capitol buildings around the country.

12/19/16 2:27 PM

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