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PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, Rhode Island's Electoral College convened to cast their votes for president and vice president. The four Presidential Electors – Representative Grace Diaz, Frank J. Montanaro, Herbert Claiborne Pell, and L. Susan Weiner – cast their votes for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The historic ceremony began at noon when the Kentish Guards in colonial military garb escorted Governor Raimondo, Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, the Honorable William E. Smith, the state's Congressional delegation, Postmaster Ronald Pauline, Rhode Island's Presidential Electors, and other dignitaries from the State Library to the House Chamber, where the event took place. Ponaganset High School Chamber Chorus from Glocester sang the national anthem and the Rev. Israel Mercedes gave the invocation.
This year middle and high schools that participated in mock presidential elections also attended the event to see the process through to the casting of the electoral college votes. At the close of the ceremony, Secretary Gorbea acknowledged the students and encouraged them to remain civically engaged.
"Civic engagement goes beyond voting in a presidential election. There are ways you all can make a difference in your schools and in your communities," Secretary Gorbea said. "This sort of civic involvement and selfless dedication towards others will be critical to our success as a state."
Title 3, Chapter 1 of the U.S. Code outlines the Electoral College process. Electors representing the political party of the candidate who wins the popular vote for president in each state officially elect the president and vice president by casting votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. The number of electors from each state is equal to the number of representatives and senators it has in Congress.
Democrat Hillary Clinton and her vice-presidential running mate Tim Kaine won the election in Rhode Island on November 8, so the presidential electors for Rhode Island were chosen by the state Democratic Party.
On January 6, 2017, Vice President Joe Biden will preside over a joint session of Congress. The certificates from the electors of each state will be opened in alphabetical order by state and read aloud to Congress.
After the votes are counted, the vice president will announce the results and will call for any objections. All objections must be made in writing and include the signature of at least one representative and one senator. If there are no objections and one candidate for president and one candidate for vice president have received at least 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes, November's election results will be official.
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