The Latino Action Network is a grassroots organization composed of individuals and organizations that are committed to engaging in collective action at the local, state and national levels in order to advance the equitable inclusion of the diverse Latino communities in all aspects of United States society.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
It's official: Electoral College picks Obama
"Voters do not actually elect a president; rather electors, apportioned to each state based on its number of senators and representatives, vote on the Monday after the second Wednesday of the month of December in an election year. New Jersey’s ceremony was repeated in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on Monday, making the reelection of Obama official."
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| The Asbury Park Press NJ | app.com
TRENTON — Frank Argote-Freyre doesn’t believe in the Electoral College.
The body of electors that officially casts ballots for president of the United States feels “elitist,” he says.
But the Freehold resident didn’t let that stop him from becoming a member of the 57th Electoral College in New Jersey history and voting for a second term for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Monday.
“My favorite line I’ve been telling my friends is I’m now the member of a club I never wanted to belong to,” Argote-Freyre joked.
“But nonetheless,” he said, “I wanted to take part in the historical aspect of it.”
So on Monday, Argote-Freyre and 13 others gathered in the state Senate chambers and voted for Obama and Biden in an event that was heavy on ceremony, with state Democratic Party Chairman John Wisniewski, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Chief Justice Stuart Rabner all playing roles in one of the oddities of the American electoral system.
Voters do not actually elect a president; rather electors, apportioned to each state based on its number of senators and representatives, vote on the Monday after the second Wednesday of the month of December in an election year. New Jersey’s ceremony was repeated in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on Monday, making the reelection of Obama official.
While the event followed form, any of the 14 could have thrown a curve if he or she had a sudden change of heart and voted for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney or any other eligible person.
“I could have voted for you,” Argote-Freyre said, pointing at a reporter.
Because of that freedom, Argote-Freyre was one of the targets of a small lobbying effort, receiving one letter urging him not to vote for Obama because of what the writer said were questions about his status as a natural-born U.S. citizen and another letter calling for him to vote for Romney because of allegations of voter fraud.
Argote-Freyre said he would contact at least the latter correspondent and thank her for her information.
“Of course, it didn’t sway me,” Argote-Freyre joked.
A Latin-American historian, Argote-Freyre was particularly interested in seeing the workings of the college from the inside, a process he said was fascinating. A longtime Democrat, he became an elector through his work with the Latino Action Network, a nonpartisan advocacy group that interacted with Democratic movers and shakers during the legislative redistricting process earlier this year.
Argote-Freyre said he also was excited to share Monday’s event with his wife, Caridad, and teenage children, Andrew and Amanda.
“I wanted my kids to see that living history,” Argote-Freyre said. “It’s important to me that they see that.”