|The Donald's Angels (L to R): Peg Ferraro, Gloria Lee Snover and Mary Barket|
(all three are from Northampton County)
Let me preface this by telling you that I am a Democrat. I voted for Hillary. But when Peg Ferraro invited me to watch her vote at Pennsylvania's Electoral College yesterday, I readily agreed. I was very proud to see three women from NorCo among the 20 who cast their votes on behalf of the Keystone State. I was pleasantly surprised to see that nine electors were women
As we made our way down Second Street to the Capital, we could also see a few protesters headed in the same direction, carrying signs. One was wearing what appeared to be a Russian soldier's uniform. But Capital police did their best to keep the electors away from any possible confrontations. Electors were parked and directed to the House floor via the basement, while demonstrators were a floor above. I saw none inside the capital until the electoral college convened promptly at noon. Then you could hear them from the House floor, but their sound was muffled and stayed that way until some made their way into the gallery above.
Secretary of State Pedro Cortes chaired the college until Rob Gleason, the state GOP chair, was unanimously elected as President of the College by voice vote.
Cortes, who noted that this was his third experience with an electoral college (he handled two of them when Ed Rendell was Governor),said that the votes from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, will be tabulated in a joint session of Congress on January 6. But when he added that the electoral college reflected the people's choice, someone in the gallery shouted, "No, it doesn't!"
Rob Gleason noted that this marked the first time since 1988 that the GOP controlled the electoral college. he characterized it a "peaceful body that will lead to a peaceful transition."
Joyce Haas of Centre County, who was elected VP, said the voice of Pa.voters was heard "loud and clear" while someone in the gallery shouted, "He's not our President." She continued, saying it is "time to come together."
In his brief remarks, Governor Tom Wolf called the electoral college "a process of peaceful transition. We don't need armies, we don't need uprisings or violence to change our country's leadership. All we need is 538 people in rooms just like this, all across the country, doing what you're doing today. ... [W]e gather to follow through on the mandate given by the people."
Wolf invited the electors and their guests to join him for lunch at his official residence.
Interestingly, electors vote by secret ballot.
All 20 voted for Trump.
"Shame on you," cried people in the gallery above. "He's not our President" shouted a woman. Another shrieked, "Now your daughters and granddaughters won't be able to get abortions."
It wasn't until we were leaving the capital that I realized how much state officials were concerned about safety. A capital police officer who escorted Peg in also took us out. And when we got to Peg's rented van, the whole area was swarming with state troopers. One capital police officer told me there had been 12 arrests. But The Inky has reported only one.
On Facebook, a woman calling herself Phoenixsong Alysia Stellamaris states,"fuck every last one of those electors for their part in destroying the last vestige of democracy by electing an overtly fascist candidate."
This is the kind of polarizing behavior that just drives people apart. Trump is our president. I am more than willing to give him a chance. If he succeeds, we all win. If he fails, we all lose. but I'll be watching. That's what you do in a democratic government.
Blogger's Note: You can see my Facebook album of pics here, and can also view a video of Governor Wolf's remarks here.
|Peg and some of her friends and family.|