The drama won't be high, but the secretary of state's office and AETN have joined hands to provide a live webcast today of the Arkansas vote in the Electoral College. Starts at 10 a.m.
UPDATE: Surprise. The Arkansas electors went for McCain. They were Jim Burnett of Clinton, Reta Hamilton of Bella Vista, Rose Bryant Jones of North Little Rock, Phyllis Kincannon of Maumelle, Steve Lux of Pine Bluff, and Kermit Parks of El Dorado.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Educational Television Network and Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels have partnered to deliver the 2008 Electoral College proceedings live via Web streaming Monday, Dec. 15, beginning at 10 a.m. “In live-streaming the state’s Electoral College proceedings, my office, in partnership with AETN, will provide Arkansans a firsthand look at how their votes on Election Day determine which presidential and vice presidential candidates ultimately receive our state’s six electoral votes,” Daniels said. “This meeting’s broadcast is a great opportunity for civic students of all ages to learn about the Electoral College and our country’s peaceful transfer of power, which is the hallmark of any successful democracy.”
The meeting, to be held in the Old Supreme Court Chamber at the State Capitol in Little Rock, is expected to last 60 to 90 minutes. AETN will film the event, providing live coverage at www.aetn.org, www.arkansasideas.org and www.arkansas.gov.
“Educators are encouraged to use the feed in their classrooms and allow students to witness a key part of the election process,” AETN Education and Governmental Affairs Director Kathleen Branton said. “Eventually, we hope to qualify this session for professional development credit on our Arkansas IDEAS Web portal.”
The schedule includes a roll call of electors, the oath of office, voting for president and vice president, certification of the vote and signing of the certificate. AETN will continue to make the video accessible through its Web site for teachers, classrooms and others interested in learning about the election process.
“AETN is proud to partner with the Secretary of State’s office for thisimportant educational opportunity that directly reflects our mission toengage and enlighten all Arkansans,” AETN Executive Director AllenWeatherly said. “And through today’s technology, this political processwill be available in classrooms and homes for years to come.”The Electoral College is a method of indirect popular election of thepresident, a system put into place by the authors of the United StatesConstitution. Voters actually cast a vote for a block of electors who arepledged to vote for a particular candidate. These electors, in turn, votefor the presidential candidate. Each state is apportioned a number ofelectors equal to the total number of their Congressional delegation.After Election Day, on the first Monday after the second Wednesday inDecember, these electors assemble in their state capitals, cast theirballots, and officially select the next President of the United States.Legally, the electors may vote for someone other than the candidate forwhom they were pledged to vote, though it generally doesn’t happen.
The candidate who receives the most votes in a state at the generalelection will be the candidate for whom the electors later cast theirvotes. Two votes are taken, one for president and one for vice president.For the 2008 election, John McCain and Sarah Palin received the majorityof votes in Arkansas.Electors are restricted from voting for two candidates from their state.The candidate who wins in a state is awarded all of that state’s ElectoralCollege votes, except in Maine and Nebraska where the electoral may besplit. Each political party in Arkansas oversees their block of electorsand the Secretary of State administers the casting of the elector’sballots.
The votes of the electors are then sent to Congress where the President ofthe Senate opens the certificates, and counts the votes on Jan. 6, unlessthat date falls on a Sunday. In that case, the votes are counted on thenext day. An absolute majority is necessary to prevail in the presidentialand the vice presidential elections, that is, half the total plus oneelectoral votes are required. With 538 electors, a candidate must receiveat least 270 votes to be elected to the office of president or vicepresident.
The president-elect and vice president-elect take the oath of office and are inaugurated two weeks later, on Jan. 20