Election Day, Part II
This is Election Day in California, the one that really matters. It's the day the Electoral College meets in the Assembly chambers and casts the only 55 votes for president that matter in California. All involved were doing their best to infuse the moment with a sense of importance and solemnity. The National Anthem was played outside the Capitol at 10 a.m., as electors and their guests began to check in at the Governor's Council Room to sign official documents.
At 2 p.m. they were scheduled to convene, called to order by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez> and to take an oath of office.
But for all the ceremony, the fact remained that they are a group of 55 dispirited Democrats. At least four years ago there was a sense of suspense, however slight. Would one or two Republican electors somewhere around the country — perhaps a Floridian uncomfortable with the state's voting processes — break ranks? (Electors are free to vote their conscience, with is why they are carefully chosen by party operatives to assure only true loyalists will cast votes.) Also lacking this time was the historic sense of futility that came with the knowledge the Electoral College would decide the election in favor of the candidate who lost the popular vote.
This time, it had the feel only of a group of Blue State electors, doing their constitutional duty and feeling blue.