Election Day has come and gone, Barack Obama has been re-elected president but it’s not “official” until each state submits their delegates in the Electoral College.
Congress will count the electoral votes on Jan. 6.
When it comes to voting for president, Reta Hamilton and Jonathan Barnett are two republicans from Northwest Arkansas who have the final say; they’ll be joined by four others in casting the state’s electoral votes.
“I’ve studied the Electoral College since I have been a teenager, obviously in junior high and high school,” Barnett said. “I’ve always wanted to be a member of the Electoral College.”
Arkansas electors are not bound by state law to cast their vote for the candidate who wins on Election Day.
Both the republican and democratic parties at their state conventions choose electors who they trust to stay loyal, Hamilton said.
“You have to have a long established record of work in the grassroots with the party, the Republican Party of Arkansas,” Hamilton said. “I came to Arkansas in 1987, I’ve worked very hard, some say as one of our best non-paid full time volunteers.”
Every four years there is some discussion of doing away with the Electoral College.
The current system gives small states like Arkansas a voice in deciding the presidency, according to Barnett.
“The Electoral College is, in my opinion, the best method for the election of President of the United States,” Barnett said. “It’s the most fair and it represents all of the states, not just some of the states.”
Each state gets two electors for their two senators. States also get a number of electors equal to their house members.
In Arkansas, that number is four, bringing the grand total to six.
Hamilton, Barnett and the four other republican Arkansas electors will meet in Little Rock in December.
Since republican Mitt Romney won the majority in Arkansas, he will be awarded all six of the state’s delegates.
Nationally, Obama won a majority of the 538 electoral votes.