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Alaska electors cast their three votes for Donald Trump

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 4:15 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Electoral College met in each state around the country to cast their votes for President of the United States on December 14th.

In Alaska, the three Republican electors, John Binkley, Judy Eledge and Randy Ruedrich cast their votes for incumbent Donald Trump in a ceremony held at the lecture hall of the Alaska State Museum in Juneau.

Each elector signed 6 Certificates of Vote which, along with a Certificate of Ascertainment showing that Trump won the popular vote in Alaska, will be sent to the President of the U.S. Senate, among other officials.

According to Gail Fenumiai, Director of the Alaska Division of Elections, the event was scaled down because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer preceded the signing ceremony with remarks about the election process in Alaska, as well as the function of the Electoral College as an institution. “Here in Alaska we recognize the importance of the Electoral College and the parity that it brings to the smaller-populated states like Alaska,” he said.

Alaska has utilized Republican electors in every presidential election since 1964, when Democratic incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson carried the state’s popular vote.

In every election since, however, electors were chosen by the Democratic Party in case their candidate prevailed in the popular vote.

Frances Degnan, an unused elector for the Democratic Party this year, also served as an elector in 2012. She explained her reasoning for wanting to be considered for the position. “I thought ‘Well, I’ll put in for it again, since I live in the rural, remote part of Alaska, and we need to have representation from a person who resides there year-round.’”

She said, “It’s a huge responsibility because you’re representing the entire people, [and] state.”

Degnan described the Electoral College as a “long-standing tradition with historical significance, and I believe that we need to have stability within our governmental processes. We need to follow our constitution and established Bill of Rights.”

Cindy Spanyers also served as a Democratic Party elector this year. She last served as an elector during the 2000 presidential election. She said being chosen by the party that year was “a matter of showing interest and doing minimal campaigning for the position as it’s more a position of respect, if you will.”

Spanyers explained that as an elector, “Your duties are somewhat short-lived. Your duties expire after the election. Whether or not you cast a vote for your nominee depends on the state’s overall popular vote.”

She explained that to run as an elector this year, “We each provided a statement of our interest to the party, which was circulated among the delegates.”

The Associated Press reports that Democrat Joe Biden has cleared the 270 electoral votes necessary to secure the presidency.

More information about the electoral college in Alaska and around the U.S. can be found at the U.S. Archives website.

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