WASHINGTON — The 538 members of the Electoral College cast their ballots Monday — in Illinois they meet in Springfield — with electors in the spotlight as President Donald Trump frantically continues to try to overturn the election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
Once the count climbs to 270 electoral votes, Biden gets to celebrate a second victory — beating Trump in the popular and the electoral votes.
U.S. Presidents are chosen based on electoral votes and Trump — in an unprecedented move that is corrosive to our democracy — has been desperately searching for ways to replace Biden electors in several key swing states.
Trump has so effectively poisoned public opinion about the election being rigged against him that Biden, after the Electoral College declares his win, is making a prime time speech on Monday night, 7 p.m. Chicago time, to discuss “the strength and resilience of our democracy.”
A Quinnipiac University national poll released last week found “77% of Republicans believe there was widespread voter fraud” in the November election.
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected Trump’s latest ploy to stay in power. Trump’s grasp on reality is so weak he told Fox News, “It’s not over. We keep going.
“And we’re going to continue to go forward. We have numerous local cases where you know, in some of the states that got rigged and robbed from us. But we won every one of them,” Trump said in an interview airing Sunday that was taped Saturday.
“We won Pennsylvania. We won Michigan. We won Georgia by a lot,” Trump said, a baseless claim that does not become true no matter how much Trump repeats it.
MEET THE ILLINOIS ELECTORS
The 20 Illinois electors gather in the Illinois House Chamber in the state Capitol in Springfield at 10 a.m. to officially vote for the president and vice president. In the case of Illinois, that will be Joe Biden and Kamala Harris since Biden won the state in November.
The hour session will be live-streamed at www.ilga.gov.
The electors are supposed to take COVID-19 tests in the morning and once in the chamber, wear masks and keep their social distance. That will be easy since the ornate chamber has seats for 118 state representatives.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will preside over the Monday session.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the Democratic Party of Illinois chairman, is not, as of Friday, planning to be present, according to party spokeswoman Eileen Boyce.
I was advised not to read too much into it as Madigan plots to retain his speakership next month in the wake of a swelling scandal. Since he is not an elector, he has no reason to attend.
Electors for each state are based on the size of the congressional delegation. Illinois has 18 members of Congress and two senators; that’s how the number is set at 20.
Illinois Democrats met and selected the electors earlier this year at a party meeting, and they are all reliable, meaning no one is going to pull a switcheroo.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, an at-large elector, will travel to Springfield to cast her vote. The other at-large elector is Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park.
The other electors come from each congressional district. Here’s the who’s who from the Chicago area:
Ald. Michelle Harris (8th); former state Rep. Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields; Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd); state Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago; Cynthia Santos, ex-member, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; and Nancy Shepherdson, a member of the state party central committee.
In addition, there is Vera Davis, the wife of Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill.; Michael Cudzik, the chair of the Schaumburg Area Democrats political action committee; Michael Cabonargi, member Cook County Board of Review; former state Rep. Lauren Beth Gash, chair of the Lake County Democrats; Julia Kennedy Beckman, a former District 99 school board member; and Kristina Zahorik, chair of the McHenry County Democrats and chair of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association.
Besides Shepherdson, Harris, Riley, Tabares, Santos, Cudzik, Cabonargi, Gash, Beckman and Zahorik are Democratic Party of Illinois state central committee members.
The next step is for the electoral votes to be counted in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.
Trump was on a Twitter rant Sunday, rehashing claims about a stolen election and a timid Supreme Court, with his ravings increasing as his defeat at the hands of the Electoral College grew near.
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December 13, 2020 at 09:02PM