WFSU News Team
Mon December 17, 2012
Florida Electors Officially Pick President Obama, VP Biden
Just as they did in all U.S. states, Florida’s presidential electors met to cast their official ballots on Monday. The Democratic electors unanimously chose President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the Florida Capitol.
In the Florida Senate chambers, Democratic electors gathered from around the state. Many brought family members to share the experience, some still in diapers. Infant Hillary Eleanor was there with her dad, former Orange County state Rep. Scott Randolph, and mom, Susannah Randolph, who’s one of the electors.
“It’s so historic. I mean, someday we’ll be able to take her and show her the signatures and say, ‘You were there. You were one of 29 in the whole state of Florida’” Susannah Randolph said.
Florida is a winner-take-all state, meaning its 29 electors must cast their votes for the winner of the popular vote. At Monday’s ceremony, the men and women chosen by the Florida Democratic Party were given ballots with only two names: Obama and Biden.
Florida Democratic Party Chairman and elector Rod Smith said, there’s a reason to carry on this in-person ceremony, even in the digital age.
“And that is to remind ourselves that there are people who have stood up, sat in, sat down and laid down their lives to make sure that this process continues,” he said, “and I hope it always continues in this way because it does reflect the great balance that our forefathers had in mind between the rights of our states and our sacred union.”
Smith said, the calm, orderly electoral ceremony would be the envy of many countries, where transfers of power are less civil.
He then thanked many people in the room for the success of Obama’s Florida campaign and for helping him be the first Democrat to win Florida in back-to-back elections since Franklin Roosevelt.
He joked, “I will quote loosely Vice President Biden: ‘This is a…uh…big deal.'”
The federal Electoral College system has not significantly changed since 1804. The presidential election results will be official after each state sends its certificates to the vice president. He will then read them out loud to Congress on January 6 before President Obama takes office for his second term.