Geoff Dornan

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December 18, 2012
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Electors make it official: Nevada awards six votes to Obama-Biden

In a brief Monday ceremony in the capitol, a panel of electors chosen by the Democratic Party awarded Nevada's six electoral college votes to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Unlike some states where electors are free to vote their choice, Nevada law specifies that the electors are chosen by the party whose candidates received the most votes in the election and that they must cast their ballots for the presidential and vice presidential candidates who received the most votes in the November election.

However, two of the electors - John Ponticello and Randy Soltero of Las Vegas - said they received a very polite letter from a Pennsylvania woman asking them to change their votes to Mitt Romney.

"Nevada state law says we must honor the voter's choice," said Ponticello.

Secretary of State Ross Miller swore in the electors, then explained that, one reason this is a big deal is that: "You are among the very few who cast a direct ballot for president."

That is because the electoral college, with one elector for each of the 535 members of Congress, is still the mechanism that actually elects the U.S. president and vice president.

Miller said the hand-written ballots signed by Soltero, Ponticello, Sam Liebermann and Rose McKinney-James of Las Vegas, Marty Ann McGarry of Carson City and Theresa Benitez-Thompson of Reno will be transmitted to Biden as President of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Archivist and Nevada federal district court as well as the governor.

In addition, the Nevada Supreme Court canvass of the popular vote will be forwarded to Washington, D.C.

Those electors also have been invited to the inauguration although Thompson said her schedule wouldn't permit her to attend this time.

Miller said Nevada's turnout was up 4 percent to 61 percent statewide compared to 2008. Douglas and Humboldt counties both reached 90 percent of registered voters while Carson City fell just a few votes short of that mark. Miller said for the first time in history, more than 1 million Nevada voters went to the polls this November.

This also is the first time Nevada has had six electoral votes, courtesy of fourth House seat added to the state's delegation thanks to the census.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Dec 18, 2012 02:26AM Published Dec 18, 2012 02:25AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.