ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - New York’s electoral college made it official Monday, voting unanimously just after noon for Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice-president.
New York’s 29 electoral votes will now be counted with electoral votes from all the states, and by the end of the day the results of the popular vote taken on November 3 will be official - Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, with 306 electoral votes.
There was no suspense in New York’s vote; New York is a deeply Democratic state, which voted overwhelmingly for Biden and Harris on November 3.
Monday’s vote took place in the expansive chambers of the state assembly, chosen so that the 29 electors could be as far apart as possible.
Governor Cuomo, who presided over the proceeding, acknowledged the unusual circumstances under which the electors met.
“This pandemic, these masks, this physical configuration are a stark reminder to the nation that government matters and leadership matters, and good government can not only improve peoples lives, but can literally save peoples lives,” he said.
Among those voting Monday: June O’Neill, former St. Lawrence County and New York state Democratic chair, and a long time power in the state’s Democratic Party.
“I’ve been getting text and emails and stuff from people when they found out I was an elector this year, saying ‘Please tell me after Monday at noon, this is all over,” O’Neill told 7 News.
“I said, really love to tell you that. As far as we’re concerned, it is.”
O’Neill said January 20, when Biden officially becomes president, “can’t come soon enough.
“He’s got a tough road ahead of him. But I believe he and Kamala are not only up to the job but ready, willing and able.”
While it’s often forgotten or overlooked, the popular vote, the one we take in early November, does not directly determine who becomes president. Instead, the winner of the popular vote in each state determines who the “electors” in each state will vote for. So in New York, where Joe Biden and Kamala Harris beat President Trump, all the state’s electoral votes - 29 - go to Biden.
Usually, the electoral college vote is mostly ceremonial and little noticed; it’s come under intense scrutiny this year as allies of President Trump floated plans to replace the electors in key states where Biden won with electors loyal to Trump, though that did not happen.