OLYMPIA…The 11 members of Washington’s Electoral College today cast their votes for the Democratic ticket of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden.
The state’s Electoral College, reflecting the views of a majority of Washington voters in the November General Election, voted in the State Reception Room of the Legislative Building.
“The Electoral College is a key part of our nation’s process in choosing its President and Vice President,” said Secretary of State Sam Reed, who presided over the voting. “While it doesn’t carry the same excitement as the November 4 popular election, it carries the same impact. Other than a fire alarm that delayed the vote, I’m pleased that today’s event went off without any unpleasant surprises.”
"I am honored to bear witness today to the election of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden," stated Gov. Chris Gregoire. "This historic ceremony, as with Electoral College votes across the country, reflects our dedication to the democratic process and commitment to open and transparent government."
Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of senators and representatives it has in the U.S. Congress. Of Washington’s 11 presidential electors, one is from each of the state’s nine congressional districts, plus two at-large electors.
Washington’s 11 electors, all submitted by the state Democratic Party, were:
1st District: Jafar Siddiqui of Lynnwood;
2nd District: Maggie Hanson of Bellingham;
3rd District: Jane Buchanan-Banks of Vancouver;
4th District: Pat Notter of Wenatchee;
5th District: Marcus Riccelli of Spokane;
6th District: Bradford Donovan of Montesano;
7th District: Lesley Ahmed of Seattle;
8th District: Di Irons of Fall City;
9th District: Calvin Edwards of Spanaway; and
At-large electors Kristine Fallstone of DuPont and Matt Daniels of Seattle.
Ahmed was chosen by the electors as the presiding officer during the vote.
December 15 was the date for electors to meet in each of the states to cast votes for President and Vice President. In all states but two (Maine and Nebraska), the winner of the popular vote in that state wins all of the electoral votes in that state.
The “Certificate of Vote” document signed today by the state’s electors will be mailed to Vice President Cheney’s office and the U.S. Archivist. On January 6, Congress will convene in a joint session to count the votes cast by the Electoral College. Obama will be inaugurated as President on January 20.
Obama defeated Republican nominee John McCain 53 percent to 46 percent in the nationwide popular vote on November 4. Obama is expected to have amassed 365 electoral votes compared to McCain’s 173. Obama needed 270 electoral votes to win the presidential election.
Obama gathered 57.65 percent of the vote in Washington, pulling in 1,750,848 votes. McCain and running mate Sarah Palin received 1,229,216 votes (40.48 percent).
The state Supreme Court has set an “en banc” conference for January 8 regarding a legal challenge to Obama’s votes in Washington State. This means all of the justices participate in deciding whether to take the case. James Broi and 12 others challenge the qualifications of Obama to serve as President, saying he was Kenya-born and was not “natural born” as a U.S. citizen. Similar legal challenges have arisen in a few other states, with none upheld. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an emergency appeal.