By AMANDA KIMBLE
ERATH COUNTY (June 21, 2016) – On November 8, voters from across the nation will flock to the polls. They will cast ballots for the next president and vice president of the United States in 51 popular elections. But, the election doesn’t end there.
Contrary to the belief of many American voters, the office is not decided by the majority. The official decision is made by the Electoral College. A group of selected electors choose the nation’s top two executive offices and those votes will be tallied by Congress.
The electoral process will take place December 19, when 538 electors from across the country cast their votes. Texas electors will cast their votes at 2 p.m. at the state capital building in Austin. And Virginia Abel (R-Stephenville) will be among those speaking for the masses.
As explained at the National Archives and Records Administration, the Electoral College was established in the United States Constitution as a “compromise between the election of the president by a vote in Congress and election of the president by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”
Looking at the 2016 election, individuals voting for Donald Trump will actually be assigning their vote to four Republican electors. Those voting for Hillary Clinton will be giving their four votes to the Democratic party.
Abel won the elector seat in U.S. Congressional District 25 (CD 25) on May 14 in a four-way race after garnering 100 of 132 possible votes. She said winning the seat was preceded by many months of meeting fellow Republicans and making her name known across the district.
She spends time away from Erath County as a member of the party’s clubs in Somervell, Johnson and Hamilton counties, mingling with like-minded individuals and patriots.
“I told myself I was going to go out there and meet all these people, make new friends and let it roll where it rolls,” she said.
Abel’s interest in winning the electoral seat was spurred during the 2012 election when Erath County resident, Georgia Scott made the trip to Austin to represent local Republicans.
Once she made the decision to run for the CD 25 position, Abel went to the local precinct convention and was elected into the county convention. She then went on to be elected as a delegate at the state convention in Dallas, where she was nominated by her congressional district caucus as the elector.
As an elector, Abel will vote on behalf of approximately 700,000 voters in CD 25. The district is represented Congressman Roger Williams and spans part of Erath, Bell, Hays, Tarrant and Travis counties, as well as all of Bosque, Burnet, Coryell, Hamilton, Hill, Johnson, Lampasas and Somervell counties.
A majority of 270 of the 538 electoral votes is required to elect the president. Abel’s will be one of 38 votes allotted to the state of Texas.
The Electoral College includes one elector from every U.S. Congressional district plus two more at-large appointed by the state Senator.
The National Archives explain the current number of allotted electoral votes for each state is based on the 2010 Census and will also apply to the 2020 election.