Connecticut’s first electoral college electors in 1789 could have never predicted what the Electoral College of 2020 would be like; in all likelihood, the Electoral College of 2016 probably couldn’t have predicted this year’s events either.
But for John Kalamarides, a longtime politically-active Wilton resident and former chair of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee, it was not only history-making but also personally thrilling to be one of the seven presidential electors and be able to cast a vote as part of this year’s CT Presidential Electoral College Meeting, which took place Monday, Dec. 14 at noon. He was also chosen to be vice-chair of the college by his fellow electors.
This was such a high honor to be able to vote for all the people of Connecticut for the president and the vice president of the United States. I am still floating on air from the experience,” Kalamarides told GOOD Morning Wilton.
“When I sought out and won election as an elector, I had no idea that this election would be so historic. We have seen how fragile our democracy is during these last four years. Our entire system of government was threatened. Our international alliances were being torn apart. With this election we will be getting back to where we can sleep again at night and be proud to be an American,” he added.
At Monday’s noon-time State Electoral College Ceremony, held at the state capitol building in Hartford, Kalamarides was joined by the six other electors: Anthony Attanasio, Dominic F. Balletto Jr., Dana Barcellos-Allen, Susan Barrett, William Smith, and Myrna Watanabe.
Connecticut is a single winner state–all seven of the state’s electoral votes are cast for the winner of the majority number of votes in the general presidential election. The Democratic candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, won 59.24% of the vote on Nov. 3. Republicans, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, received 39.21%.
In actuality, the public’s votes for President and Vice President are cast for electors, not the actual candidates. As a result, the electors representing the state were chosen by the winning party, the Democrats.
After being sworn in, the electors filled out their ballots and placed them in the state’s historic ballot box, located in the center of the State Senate Chamber. According to CT-N, “the box is said to be made of wood from the Connecticut Charter Oak [and] is used solely for casting Connecticut’s Electoral College votes every four years.”