Monday Georgia’s electors cast their ballots for Mitt Romney for President and Paul Ryan for Vice President. All 538 members of the electoral college, which casts the final ballots for the head of state, gathered at their state capitols.
Georgia has 16 electoral votes, one for each of its U.S. Senate seats and one for each of its seats in the U.S. House.
Each political party with a qualified candidate for President on the ballot chooses a slate of electors. UGA political science professor Charles Bullock says the party that wins Georgia’s popular vote gets all the electoral votes.
“When we go to the polls and vote, what we see is the name of the presidential candidate. But really what we’re doing is we’re voting for one of those sets of electors.” he says.
Even though her candidate didn’t win the national election, Elector Toria Morgan of Marietta says she was thrilled to participate.
“Well it’s the honor of a lifetime to be able to vote for the person you think would be best to be president of the United States.” she says.
Republican Chairman Sue Everhart says democrat Barack Obama’s national victory made it a bittersweet day in Atlanta.
“ It kind of sounded good to hear them say ‘Mitt Romney President’”. she says.
Elector Julianne Thompson of Suwanee says she wouldn’t think of changing her vote, even though Romney lost nationally.
“Regardless of whether we have won or not, the honor of being here is overwhelming for all of us.” she says.
Georgia is one of 24 states that doesn’t require its electors to vote for the candidate they are pledged to. Georgia’s electors have been faithful, except for seven democrats in 1828 who refused to vote for Vice Presidential candidate John Calhoun. Calhoun won anyway.
The Vice President will announce the electoral college results to Congress on January 7th, when Barack Obama’s win becomes official.