Virginia presidential electors formally cast ballots
Gov. Bob McDonnell gave opening remarks at the ceremony. Electors vote across the nation today for president and vice president. The Electoral College votes for the two offices separately, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. All 13 electors remained faithful to their pledge and voted for Barack Obama for president and Joseph Biden for vice president.
In Virginia, the Electoral College is set up so the winner of the popular vote receives all of the electoral votes. Since the Democratic candidates for president and vice president won the majority of the popular vote in Virginia, all 13 electors are Democrats. If the Republican candidates had won the majority of the popular vote in Virginia, all 13 electors would have been Republican. Only two states do not use the winner takes all method: Nebraska and Maine.
When voters cast their votes for president and vice president on Nov. 6, they actually voted for the electors representing those political parties. In Virginia, there is an elector from each congressional district, in addition to two at large electors.
The number of electors each state has is based on the number of U.S. Representatives and Senators from that state. Virginia has 11 U.S. representatives and two senators resulting in 13 total electors.
Now that Virginia’s electors have voted and certified their votes, they have fulfilled their duties. An original copy of the Certificate of Vote, which was signed by all 13 electors, in addition to an original copy of the Certificate of Ascertainment, stating the 2012 electors and signed by Gov. McDonnell, will now be mailed to the President of the U.S. Senate, Joseph Biden.
The President of the Senate will hold these documents until Jan. 6, 2013. That day, Congress will meet in a joint session and officially count all of the electoral votes. The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will swear in President Obama for a second term on Jan. 21, 2013.