KIMT News 3 – When folks hit the polls on Election Day, they aren’t really voting for the next president of the United States, they are voting for an elector to represent them, like Randy Black of Mason City.
Black did not make the trip to Des Moines on Monday because his candidate did not win, but if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have take Iowa, he would be one of the electors folks would have been voting for.
“I went to all three of the conventions the local county conventions, the district conventions and I went to a state convention,” says Black.
The process has been going on since colonial times and was designed to give smaller states like Iowa more of a voice compared to California and New York.
“When we had the election actually people are voting for these electors today these electors are meeting in the state capitals all over the country to formally elect the president of United States,” says political analyst Bennett Smith.
But over the years, state laws have changed how the Electoral College would work from what our founding fathers envisioned.
“What’s interesting about the history of the Electoral College is that originally it was conceived as a more deliberative body where electors could use their own judgment,” says Smith. “What’s happened over the years is 29 states have actually put in laws that bind their electors to vote for whoever won the popular vote in their state.”
Smith says in the other 21 states, political insiders are voted in to ensure their is not a rogue elector. One of those states is Iowa, where Black is the Wing Ding Chair Person. Though he did not make the journey to the capital, he is happy for the opportunity.
“It’s still historical because I was a first elector for the first woman candidate running for president,” he says.