Delaware’s three meager Electoral College votes have rarely registered in importance on the national scale.
And even though the ballots signed Monday in Dover don’t play a deciding role in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, they are a point of pride for the three electors and voters in the state, who have a front-row seat to see one of their own headed to the White House.
“As Delawareans, we could not be more proud to send one of our own to lead this nation,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, who oversees the Electoral College process in the state. “We wish the new administration the courage and judgment to lead us through this long, dark winter and, as Lincoln said in his second inaugural, ‘bind up the nation’s wounds as we move toward renewed prosperity.’’’
The electors usually gather inside Legislative Hall chambers that are crowded with school kids. The voting process — which is typically an uneventful ceremony with brief speeches after documents are signed — is used as a civics lesson for students.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were no students in attendance this year, and the event was moved to the gymnasium at nearby Delaware State University. The three electors, including Martha Blunt Carter, John Daniello and Marie Mayor, sat at individual tables that were spaced far apart on the school’s basketball court and appeared to be divided by plexiglass.
They cast their votes for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris by signing documents on a separate table that was also placed apart from their individual seats.
“This is an amazing day and just such a historic moment,” said elector Marla Blunt-Carter, sister of Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.
Signing off on the ballots was a personal triumph for her too, after having a stroke last year, which left her unable to even lift a pen.
“To sign my name, it signified so much because if I can come back from a stroke, I know this country, under the leadership of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, can come back from this very dark time,” she said.
Fellow elector John Daniello recalled meeting young Joe Biden 50 years ago, and encouraging him to run for New Castle County Council in 1970.
“He was a comer,” Daniello said. “In our day that was someone to be reckoned with later. Joe surely has lived up to that.”
Two years after that meeting, Biden would translate that first election win into a surprise upset victory over longtime U.S. Sen. Cale Boggs of Delaware in 1972. Biden held that Senate seat until he resigned in 2009 after being elected vice president.
Now as he heads to the White House, Daniello says he’s the right man for the job. “Over the last four years, this country has been so divided. We have, on both sides, radicals on the left and the right, calling for the abolition of the Constitution. I know that the man we elected president will uphold that Constitution and get us back on the road of law.”
Bullock thanked all the electors and election workers around the country, who he called the “true patriots of 2020.”
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