Electoral votes to be cast today

One local woman is participating in biggest political event of 2016

Protesters have already gathered outside the Texas State Capitol in Austin ahead of Monday's Electoral College vote for president. || Facebook photo


ERATH COUNTY (December 19, 2016) – The election of the next president of the United States is nearing its in. Electors meet across Monday to vote for the office and that of vice president.

The election has been all but decided, following the victory of Donald Trump on November 8. Based on election results, President-elect Trump is expected to receive more than the required 270 votes needed to be declared president. The same goes for Trump’s running mate, Vice President-Elect Mike Pence.

The process includes 538 electors, with each state being designated a certain number. Texas is allotted 38 electoral votes, with one elector from Erath County.

Stephenville resident Virginia Abel has traveled to Austin, where she will represent Congressional District 25 (CD 25). State electors are expected to cast their ballots at 2 p.m. Monday.

Abel, who calls herself a tried and true conservative Republican, has been open about her choice.

Today is the day our Texas voters have been waiting for,” Abel, who said she would not speak to the press until after votes are sealed, said in a Facebook post. “Today we see how the electors, myself included, voted. I have no problem with the Texas voters knowing that I am voting for Donald J. Trump. I want to also thank a group of great patriots who helped me get elected at the State Republican Convention, without you I would not have been elected.”

This is a shot Virginia Able shared on Facebook of one day of mail she received.

For Abel and electors across the nation, the last several weeks have been filled with a mass of emails and deliveries from the United States Postal Service. The delivers included much more than traditional Christmas greetings. Through her Facebook page, Abel has documented the crates of letters she has received.

While pundits and the general public agree that the next month is simply a part of the process, with Trump poised to take office on Inauguration Day, media outlets across the nation expect plenty of drama to swirl around state capitol buildings. In Austin, protesters were photographed Sunday.

To make the occasion, The Flash turned to national archives to better explain the election process from Monday through January 20, Inauguration Day.

According to the National Archives of Records Administration (NARA), the electoral votes – six certificates of vote paired with six remaining certificates of ascertainment – are signed, sealed, certified and distributed immediately. One is sent to the president of the Senate (the vice president); two are delivered to the secretary of the state in the electors’ respective states; two are sent to the archivist, one becoming part of the permanent collection at NARA; and a single set is sent to the presiding judge in the district where the electors met. Three of the sets of votes are reserved and subject to the call of the president of the Senate to replace missing or incomplete electoral votes.

From here:

  • Electoral votes must be received by the president of the Senate and archivist no later than nine days after the meeting of the electors.
  • If votes are lost or delayed, the archivist may take extraordinary measures to retrieve duplicate originals.
  • Select officials gather for a ceremonial meeting in late December or early January.
  • Congress is expected to meet in joint session to count the electoral votes on January 6.

The president of the Senate presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote and declares who has been elected president and vice president of the United States.

To be declared the winner, candidates for either office must receive 270 or more electoral votes. If candidates for neither office receive the required number of votes, the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the House of Representatives to decide the presidential election, voting between the top three candidates, and the Senate to elect the vice president, deciding between the top two.

Inauguration Day ceremonies begin at noon on January 20.


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