Washington’s Electoral College Meeting In Olympia Full Of Emotion And Gratitude

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman presides over the state's Electoral College vote in Olympia
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman presided over the state's Electoral College vote in Olympia on Dec. 14, 2020. CREDIT: TVW


Electoral college delegates in all 50 states cast their ballots Monday.

In Olympia, Washington’s 12 Democratic electors cast their ballots for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

It was an emotional experience for some, including for the woman running the meeting.

Newly re-elected Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman was in the middle of explaining the purpose of Monday’s ceremony, when something unexpected happened.

“This is a moment in our country’s history where electors in state capitals across America are convening to cast their votes on behalf of the voters of their respective states. As you can see, this is getting me today,” she said.

Jack Arends from Everett was also emotional, though for a different reason. He was happy to cast a vote that helped bring an end to the Trump Administration.

“It will be up to others to do the hardest work of rebuilding our nation as my health is failing. In November I was told there is no more medical treatment that can help me. So it was important for me to do this one thing that I could do while I still can,” he said.

Other members, including Nancy Monacelli of Walla Walla, expressed their gratitude for a fair and free election.

“I’m really proud to represent the Fifth District and just appreciate the work that so many have put into ensuring the sanctity of this election. I thank all of you. I thank you, Kim, Governor Inslee and everyone in this room,” she said.

Several members of the delegration noted the diversity of the dozen marking their ballots.

“My name is Martin Chaney. I represent the First Congressional District. I live outside of Carnation,” he said. “It’s an honor and a privilege of a lifetime to be here as part of Washington state’s delegation to the Electoral College, a delegation whose diversity reflects the diversity which makes the great state of Washington so great.”

Chaney dedicated his vote to his mother, whose family emigrated from Japan to Washington early in the 20th century and then was moved to a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War.

Sophia Danenberg from Seattle appreciated the diversity as well.

“As the daughter of a Japanese mother who worked in sugar cane fields and an African-American father who worked in the cotton fields of the South, who became a doctor to give me so many opportunities, I am so, so proud to vote for my fellow Balasian. For those that don’t know, that is a Black and Asian, Balasian, Kamala Harris, who will be making history,” she said.

The 12 votes cast in Olympia will now be sent to Congress to be counted during a joint session on January 6, 2021.

Copyright 2020 Spokane Public Radio. To see more, visit spokanepublicradio.org

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