I had hoped to post some substantive updates live from the Electoral College Assembly in St. Paul. But I ultimately decided not to bring my laptop. It’s hard to do much writing and editing while also participating. So here’s an only slightly delayed journal of the day’s events.
As I mentioned in a previous post, state law sets a 9 a.m. deadline for electors to appear at the Governor’s office. An elector who is absent at that time is replaced by a randomly selected alternate.
Obviously, I didn’t want to risk that, so I got up around 5:30. I had planned to leave home around 7—leaving flex time for slow driving plus breakfast in St. Paul—but my mother (my only guest for the first part) was delayed in driving from St. Cloud. She arrived at my house at about 8, and we arrived at the Capitol at 8:45 or so.
We then went straight to the Governor’s office… almost. On our worst weather day so far this year, my attire was an unholy fusion of formal suit and Paul Bunyan outdoorwear, so I had to duck into the men’s room to fix that.
We made it to the Governor’s Reception Room with a few minutes to spare. It was set up with seating for electors at a head table and a gallery area with separate sections for alternates and guests.
Normally, Gov. Pawlenty would preside over the electors, but he’s out of the country; Lt. Governor Molnau was reportedly delayed by the bad weather. So Secretary of State Mark Ritchie convened the meeting.
After some intial remarks by Secretary Ritchie, he proceeded to a roll call. Present were:
- Arthur Anderson, Albert Lea
- Bill Davis, Brooklyn Park
- Jim Gremmels, Glenwood
- Benjamin Gross, Eagan
- Dave Lee, Minneapolis
- Matthew Little, Minneapolis
- Al Patton, Sartell
- Jackie Stevenson, Minnetonka
- Joan Wittman, St. Paul
Unfortunately, due to the weather, elector Donyta Wright couldn’t safely come down from Northern Minnesota to St. Paul. We were forced to upgrade an alternate. Secretary Ritchie randomly drew Sue Moravec’s name, and she joined us at the main table.
A few documents were passed around for us to sign, including one certifying Sue’s promotion to elector status. We then moved to the other side of the room for pictures. Most of the electors, alternates, and guests then followed an expert from the Minnesota Historical Society for a tour of the Capitol.
Tomorrow I’ll finish this account with the DFL reception and the voting ceremony itself. Meanwhile, some quick links: