‘It is momentous!’ Electors ready to cast official votes

DOVER — Think the election is over and Delawarean Joe Biden is ascending to become the next president of the United States?

Not quite yet.

At 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 14, the presumed will become official when three state Democratic party members cast their electoral votes during a gathering inside the Memorial Hall gymnasium at Delaware State University. Each state has its own timeline for certifying election results.

The electors — former State Party chair John Daniello, Marla Blunt-Carter and Marie Mayor — will each call out their choice and sign nine documents to make the state’s Electoral College votes final.

Marla Blunt-Carter

The event will be live streamed to the public through Delaware.gov.

Ms. Blunt-Carter described herself as “extremely humbled to have been chosen to be an elector. Casting my vote will be meaningful because it is not just my vote, it represents the votes of many Delawareans throughout the state.”

A years-long personal connection — Ms. Blunt-Carter served on the Biden Senate staff and on the 2008 Obama/Biden Presidential campaign — just heightens the experience.

“To be able to play a part in seeing one of Delaware’s most dedicated public servants become the president of the United States is beyond special,” she said.

“It is momentous!”

News of the honor was well received by Ms. Blunt-Carter’s sister Lisa, Delaware’s lone U.S. Representative in Congress..

“My sister is extremely excited for me and glad that I could play a part in this historic election,” Ms. Blunt-Carter said.

“She expressed on a recent call how significant this is and that no one is more deserving of this honor than I am.”

The opportunity to lend her signature was well deserved for Ms. Blunt Carter, who has worked through a stroke in July 2019 that left her partially paralyzed on her left side. Her physical challenges required months of physical and occupational therapy as she “slowly regained use of my arm and hand, and re-learned how to walk with the assistance of a cane.”

During that period of rehabilitation, Ms. Blunt-Carter said she was limited in how she could contribute to the Biden/Harris campaign as she had in other presidential campaigns and state races.

“The stroke limited my mobility and I was sidelined for a few months but, I eventually found ways to be involved while working on my recovery,” she said.

There was enough recovery to allow Ms. Blunt-Carter to serve as a Biden delegate to the Democratic National Convention and representing the Biden campaign on the DNC standing committee on the rules.

When former Democratic Party State Chair Erik Raser-Schramm approached her about representing the party as an elector “I accepted without hesitation,” said Ms. Blunt-Carter, who lives in the Wilmington area and an assistant professor of Professional Practice in the School of Social Work at Rutgers University.

”Since that call I have been practicing my penmanship and following developments from other states that have yet to certify their election results. I am still overwhelmed by the honor and grateful for many things.

“First, although I am still battling stroke-related health issues, I am thankful that I am able to participate in this important part of our democratic process. I am one of the only three people in our state selected people to actually cast a vote for Delaware’s former senator and the first female and person of color to become our next president and vice president of the United States.

“Second, I will be signing my name to documents that will be a part of history and I will be signing with the hand that 17 months ago could not even hold a pen or write the letter ‘X’ like my great great-great grandfather did (on his voter registration card due to not being able to write his name, which exemplifies how far we have come as descendants of slaves, and how far we have come as a nation.)

“It has been a long personal journey for me to get to this point and also a long and challenging campaign season that has revealed much about our country. I hope that once we, the Electoral College, have voted, we can finally come together and do what President-elect Biden has said throughout his campaign which is to restore the soul of this nation.”

Ms. Blunt-Carter grew up watching her father Ted work in the community and serve in local office for more than 20 years and “He exposed my sisters and me to politics at an early age, and every campaign that I have been involved in since has been influenced by his wisdom. …

“I also had the great opportunity to serve as the state director for the historic Obama/Biden campaign in 2008 and helped my sister to make history in 2016 when she became the first person of color and first woman to represent Delaware in Congress.

“My experiences have been pretty amazing thus far, and what makes this experience different from those that I mentioned is that my vote, along with my fellow electors, will represent Delaware’s selection of the person to lead the nation for the next four years. Because of the magnitude of this election, and the current state of the nation, this honor definitely rates at the very top of my list of unforgettable moments.”

Marie Mayor

Ms. Mayor, of Milton, said it would be an honor to cast an electoral vote for Mr. Biden due to his connection to Delaware.

“This is such a historic day for our state,” she said.

“To be part of the celebration is exciting.”

Ms. Mayor recalled meeting Mr. Biden’s late son Beau as she ran in the 20th Representative District Race for state representative in Sussex County.

“Beau was the first elected official to drive down to Milton after I announced my candidacy and hand me a check,” she recounted.

“His smile and encouragement will always be remembered.”

A few months later, Ms. Mayor said she spoke with then-Vice President Biden on Return Day in Georgetown.

“(I) said that even though I did not win my election, I felt the joy of knowing he won his,” she said.

“His comment was “Marie, It is hard to run as a Democrat in Sussex County.’ ”

Mr. Biden’s wife Jill sponsored a fundraiser for Sussex County women Democratic candidates in 2014 “and provided the type of guidance and support that the Biden family shares with so many people,” Ms. Mayor said.

Ms. Mayor added emphatically that “I am looking forward to participating as an elector on December 14 and relieved that President-elect Biden is now able to begin his official Transition efforts. January 20, 2021 cannot come too soon!”

Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock will call on the electors to call out their votes.

The Democrats are providing the representatives after their party garnered the most popular votes for president and vice president during the Nov. 3 Election Day.

According to the Delaware Department of State, electors are nominated in the late summer of a presidential election year. The nominations are sent to the Elections Commissioner and copies forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Alternates selected include former State Party Chair Erik Raser-Schramm, current Chair Elizabeth Maron and Vice Chair James Hussey.

Federal law mandates that the votes must be cast on the first Monday following the second Wednesday of the month of December in a presidential election year.

By state law, the event must be held in Dover. Delaware has three electors based on its number of U.S. senators and representatives.

According to the Department of State, “The electors, among themselves, will select a chairperson and a secretary for the purpose of conducting the business of casting their votes.

“Each elector will call out for whom they vote and will each sign each of nine original Certificate of Vote documents. The nine Certificates of Vote are attached to nine copies of the ascertainment of the election results for President and Vice President that are signed by the Governor and Secretary of State …”

“That ascertainment of results is generated as a result of the Certificates of Election submitted by each Superior Court of the three counties in Delaware .”

The process continues as “Six sets of these documents are required to then delivered to various Offices — one to the President of the United States Senate, two to the Archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration, two to the Office of the Delaware Secretary of State, and one to the Chief Judge of the Federal District Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Other copies of these documents are forwarded to the Delaware Archivist.”

Said, Department of State spokesman David Mangler, “Given the need for an abundance of caution in gathering persons together, we will convene the electors and their alternates in the gymnasium on the campus of the Delaware State University. All persons required to be present will be required to remain physically distanced, and wear face masks.”