Washington’s presidential electors to cast votes for Barack Obama, Joe Biden

December 9, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Washington’s Electoral College members plan to cast votes Dec. 17 for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Each state is afforded the same number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives a state has in Congress. Washington possesses 12 electoral votes, one for each congressional district and another two for each senator. Democrats chose the electors from the state’s 10 congressional districts at caucuses in May, and chose the at-large electors at the state Democratic Party convention in June.

The group plans to gather in Olympia to cast votes for Obama and Biden. The incumbents received 56.16 percent of votes in Washington. Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan pulled in 41.29 percent statewide.

“The upcoming Electoral College vote is a key part of our nation’s presidential election process,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a statement. “The first step was when voters in Washington and the rest of the nation had their voices heard in this November’s election. The next step is when our state’s Electoral College members cast their votes for president and vice president based on the majority of Washington voters.”

Dec. 17 is the date when electors meet in each state to cast votes for president and vice president. In every state except Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in a state wins all electoral votes in the state.

In Washington, state law requires electors to cast ballots for the winning party’s ticket with a fine of $1,000 for being a “faithless” elector.

Officials created the law after 1976 Electoral College member Mike Padden voted for Ronald Reagan, even though Republican nominee, incumbent President Gerald Ford, secured Washington’s electoral votes in the 1976 presidential election.

Once Washington’s electors sign the certificate of vote Dec. 17, the document is mailed to Biden’s office and the U.S. archivist. Congress then convenes in a joint session Jan. 6 to count the Electoral College votes.

Obama is expected to be inaugurated privately Jan. 20, a Sunday, and then in a public ceremony the next day.

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