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Wisconsin's presidential electors meeting at State Capitol

Ten Presidential Electors designated by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin began meeting at noon today (Friday) at the State Capitol to officially cast Wisconsin's Electoral College votes for the winner of the Nov. 4 presidential election, Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Wisconsin has one elector for each of its eight Congressional districts and two statewide votes. Presidential electors are nominated by each political party with ballot status in Wisconsin and by independent candidates for president, but only those electors of the winning party/candidate eventually cast an Electoral College vote.

Like most states, Wisconsin awards Electoral College votes on a "winner-takes-all" basis, meaning the presidential candidate with the most votes gets all the Electoral College votes. However, Nebraska and Maine award their votes on the basis of which candidate has won each Congressional district.

Electors actually cast two ballots, one for the office of President and one for Vice President, and then signed six original Certificates of Votes Cast to validate the process.

The electors participating today were nominated by the state Democratic Party, and include the son of the Governor, a state senator, two members of the State Assembly, a former state cabinet member, and the chair of the party. They are as follows:

Ray Rivera, 1st Congressional District

Senator Fred Risser, 2nd Congressional District

Rollie Hicks, 3rd Congressional District

Representative Polly Williams, 4th Congressional District

Dian Palmer, 5th Congressional District

Representative Gordon Hintz, 6th Congressional District

Christine Bremer-Muggli, 7th Congressional District

Donsia Strong Hill, 8th Congressional District

Gus Doyle, At Large

Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke, At Large

The electors will meet at noon in the Governor's Conference Room at the Capitol. Kevin J. Kennedy, Director of the Government Accountability Board and Wisconsin's chief election official, will call the meeting to order.

Afterwards, a Certificate of Ascertainment, signed by the Governor and Secretary of State, and a Certificate of Votes Cast, signed by each elector, will be sent to the Vice President of the United States in his capacity as president of the Senate, federal archivists in Washington, DC, the Wisconsin Secretary of State and the Chief Judge of the Federal Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

The U.S. Electoral College was designed in 1787 by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. They determined that the number of electors from each state must equal the number of each state's representatives to Congress (U.S. Senate and House). Federal employees and members of Congress are prohibited from serving as electors.