Alaska electors scheduled to vote for Donald Trump December 14th
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Electoral College is scheduled to cast their votes for President of the United States on Monday, December 14th. The state of Alaska casts 3 electoral votes, reflecting its total number of Representatives and Senators serving in Washington, D.C.
In advance of the election, each major party with a candidate for president chooses 3 individuals to serve as potential electors in the event that its candidate wins the popular vote in Alaska.
In Alaska, Republican incumbent Donald Trump won the state’s popular vote. After Gail Fenumiai, Director of the Alaska Division of Elections, certified this result, electors from the winning party were officially selected to cast their votes.
This vote will take place in a ceremony held at the lecture hall of the Alaska State Museum at 11:00am on the 14th.
According to Fenumiai, the scale of the event has been reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. “We have a maximum number of 20 people who can be in the hall at one time, including all the electors and the Division of Elections staff and the Lieutenant Governor.”
She added that the program will be shortened and livestreamed on KTOO, a telecommunications service out of Juneau. “We won’t have a choir in there to sing, we won’t have color guards, so it’ll be pretty much just the Lieutenant Governor giving a short talk about the Electoral College. We’ll have the Electoral College representatives cast their certificates of vote, and that’ll be it.”
These electors are required by law to sign a pledge that they will vote for the candidate of the party which they represent.
Glenn Clary, Chair of the Alaska Republican Party, explained that the party’s electors for each presidential cycle are chosen by delegates at the state party convention. Three alternatives are also selected, to be sent to Juneau in the event that an elector is unable to complete their duties.
According to Clary, a number of factors contribute to the selection of electors, including “how long they have been involved in the Republican Party, what they’ve contributed to the Republican Party.” He added, “For sure, whether or not they intend to support the Republican nominee that comes out of the national convention.”
This year’s Republican electors are John Binkley, Judy Eledge, and Randy Ruedrich.
Clary spoke to the significance of the Electoral College for the state, saying, “Because of Alaska’s population being so low, it gives us an equal balance of representation, and I think that would be true concerning a lot of states.”
According to Casey Steinau, Chair of the Alaska Democratic Party, electors for her party are also chosen in a state party convention. “The Alaska Democratic Party holds a biannual state convention, and in the presidential years, that body elects the electors who, should the Democratic candidate be successful, would then be the electors for the state of Alaska,” she said.
Steinau discussed the factors contributing to the party’s choice of electors. “Historically, those who have been selected for that role represent the Democratic Party, as far as our values, who we are, and folks that we want to honor in allowing them to have that honor to be electors.”
The Democratic electors this year are Cindy Spanyers, Frances Degnan and Paul Kelly.
The last time a Democratic presidential candidate won the popular vote in Alaska was in 1964, when incumbent Lyndon Baines Johnson defeated opponent Barry Goldwater.
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