Elec­toral Col­lege casts of­fi­cial votes

Obama on course to get 332 votes from electors in states.

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By Brian Bakst

ST. PAUL, MINN. — Tra­di­tion trumped sus­pense Mon­day as mem­bers of the Elec­toral Col­lege cast the of­fi­cial, fi­nal votes in the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, a con­sti­tu­tional for­mal­ity on Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s march to a sec­ond term.

The rite play­ing out in state capi­tols in­volved party lu­mi­nar­ies and tire­less ac­tivists car­ry­ing out the will of each state’s vot­ers. The pop­u­lar vote from state-to-state dic­tates whether Demo­cratic or Repub­li­can electors get the honor, but the out­come is not in doubt.

Obama is on course to get 332 votes to Repub­li­can Mitt Rom­ney’s 206, bar­ring de­fec­tors known as “faith­less electors.” Electors also were af­firm­ing Joe Bi­den for an­other term as vice pres­i­dent.

“Ev­ery­body votes for pres­i­dent, but no­body gets a real vote ex­cept a pres­i­den­tial elec­tor,” said elec­tor Mike Bo­han of Ore­gon, which was in Obama’s col­umn.

Wis­con­sin’s electors donned pin-on but­tons with head­shots of the pres­i­dent. A bit of con­tro­versy erupted in Ari­zona, where a few electors voiced doubts that Obama was “prop­erly vet­ted as a le­git­i­mate can­di­date for pres­i­dent” by rais­ing de­bunked claims about his birth cer­tifi­cate.

In New Hamp­shire, electors sup­port­ing Obama signed their four bal­lots and then cer­tifi­cates that were sealed in en­velopes with wax that has been in the sec­re­tary of state’s of­fice for more than 70 years.

In a ro­tunda decked out for the hol­i­days, Min­nesota’s 10 electors called out the name “Barack Obama” one af­ter an­other in an ex­er­cise meant to avoid a mis­cue that left the state with an ac­ci­den­tal faith­less elec­tor in 2004.

Ver­mont’s meet­ing of three electors was wit­nessed by a fifth-grade class.

“It was an amaz­ing teach­able op­por­tu­nity,” said Cindy Tan, a teacher at Cham­ber­lin School in South Burling­ton. “It only hap­pens ev­ery four years.”

Con­necti­cut’s electors con­vened in the state Se­nate cham­ber and solemnly re­mem­bered the vic­tims of last week’s school shoot­ing be­fore car­ry­ing out their task.

The cer­ti­fied tally sheets are on their way to Washington, where Congress will of­fi­cially count them on Jan. 6.

The 12th Amend­ment di­rects the electors cho­sen by the states to meet and vote for pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent. Each state gets its equiv­a­lent in the 435-mem­ber House and the 100mem­ber Se­nate. The District of Columbia gets the other three electors.

With the Elec­toral Col­lege in fo­cus, ad­vo­cates for re­vamp­ing the cur­rent sys­tem seized on the chance to ar­gue for a change guar­an­tee­ing the na­tional pop­u­lar vote win­ner is elected pres­i­dent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.