Jerame Davis

Meeting of Indiana Presidential Electors

Filed By Jerame Davis | December 19, 2008 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Baron Hill, Electoral College, Indiana, Joseph Hogsett, Presidential Election, Todd Rokita

I recently had the honor and privilege to attend the Indiana Meeting of Presidential Electors. This is the meeting of Indiana's 11 Presidential Electors, essentially Indiana's contribution to the Electoral College.

ticket.jpgIndiana voted for a Democrat for the first time in 44 years when Barack Obama won the state on November 4. This is only the 5th time in the history of the state that Democrats have gotten to cast Electoral Ballots for President of the United States.

I shot some video of the event that I've edited down to about 7 minutes. It was an hour and a half ceremony, which seems like a long time for 11 people to vote when the result is, basically, a foregone conclusion. (Faithless electors are very rare, but they do happen.)

I also included the remarks of Rep. Baron Hill (D) and former Indiana Secretary of State and Former Indiana Democratic Party Chair Joe Hogsett as separate videos. Neither are stellar orators, but our midwestern readers will probably be interested in hearing what they had to say.

I was honored to be at the ceremony, but as I mentioned to my friend who attended with me, "History sure as hell takes time." There was much pomp and circumstance and I cut most of it out of the video.

If you're interested in seeing more of the ceremony, leave a comment and if I get enough requests, I'll throw together some more footage that didn't make the original cut.

Meeting of Presidential Electors

Rep. Baron Hill

Former Indiana Secretary of State Joe Hogsett

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A friend of mine emailed me recently to point out that Chip Ardnt, formerly of "Reichen and Chip" a gay couple who won on the Amazing Race several years ago, is an elector in Florida this year.

Out of 11 electors, statistically we ought to have an "out" elector here in Indiana --- do we?

Also, a complete explanation of how the general election is linked to the appointment of the state electors, who most of us have never heard of, can be found at --- where, by the way, it states that Indiana has never had a "faithless" elector.

We do not have an out elector. As far as I know, we didn't have a closeted one either.

Indiana hasn't had a faithless elector, but there was one in Minnesota just last election that voted for John Edwards and not John Kerry.

According to this page:

There have been 157 faithless electors in the history of the electoral college, but 71 of these were due to the pledged candidate having died before the vote took place.

The page also notes that faithless electors have never affected the outcome of an election.

Oh, one other thing on Indiana electors.

They had trouble filling all the spots because Dems never win. Electors are selected at the State Party Convention, which is well before a primary winner or even front-runner is established, let alone any idea who is going to win...

Statistically, the Republican should have won this state. Dems haven't done this duty in 44 years, so no one ever wants a position that will never have duties to fulfill.

I could have probably gotten a spot as an elector had I run for it, but that probably won't be the case in 4 years.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | December 19, 2008 3:29 PM

Thanks for that, Jarame. Frankly, had I any idea that there was some kind of ceremony associated with this, I would have made and effort to try and witness it.

Jerame would have been a great elector. I remember at the State Convention they were really trying to fill the elector's duties. You could tell there was a little more excitement this year due to Obama's announced 50-state strategy, but I don't think any of them really expected Indiana to go blue. Most of the spots went to party hacks.