Secretary Atkins oversees meeting in Senate Chamber
SALEM — Oregon’s seven Electoral College members cast their votes unanimously for Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine today in the Oregon Senate Chamber of the Capitol.
Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne P. Atkins presided over the meeting in the packed chamber. This was one of her final tasks in office.
Below are her opening remarks:
And welcome to the Oregon Senate Chamber.
This is December 19th, 2016, and we are here to convene the 2016 Electoral College for Oregon.
Before us we have the body of electors chosen by their party to participate in the selection of the next president and vice president of the United States. Today, as is the case in each of the 50 states of our union, electors are gathering to vote for the candidates that represent the choice of the people of their state.
This has been an intensely fought and historic election in our state and across the nation.
Our national ballot had the first woman candidate for president nominated by a major party.
And, in this election year, our election processes themselves were a subject of unprecedented challenge and criticism. This has continued into the post-election period. The nation has been roiled by a significantly greater debate than usual over the appropriateness of the Electoral College process in our modern age and over the obligations of those chosen as electors.
In Oregon, our election was no less historic. A record number of ballots were cast, and, because of a record-setting registration rate, we achieved a nearly 70 percent participation rate by all those Oregonians who were qualified to cast a ballot.
Our local election officials throughout the state have delivered trusted election results from each county — produced by a process that was both transparent and audited for accuracy. We are proud to note the confidence with which Oregonians can believe in the results that have been certified.
Today we gather to swear in our electors and to complete the process called for by our Constitution — by observing their balloting and confirming the vote of the people of Oregon. I am pleased to welcome you here for this purpose and to remind you of the important year in which you serve and the important purpose for which you have been chosen.
We are operating consistently with the United States and Oregon Constitutions, and have followed the process outlined in Oregon statute, which provides that we will have seven electors – equal to the number of members of U.S. House of Representatives and Senate who represent our great state.”
The video and audio recordings of the meeting are available on the Legislature’s website.