Subscribe to Enewsletter.
Facebook Senator Jay Costa Offical Website

Sen. Costa, Electoral College Members Cast Presidential Ballots

Senator Jay Costa
Sen. Costa speaks to the Electoral College.

Inside the ornate chamber of the state House of Representatives in Harrisburg, state Sen. Jay Costa and 19 other electors from Pennsylvania participated in the Electoral College and cast their votes for president. 

Sen. Costa Casting Vote
Sen. Costa casts his Electoral College ballot.

Costa, who serves as the Democratic Leader of the Senate, said that he was “honored to be a part of history and participate in the process to elect Barack Obama to another term as President of the United States.

“This is a wonderful experience and it is an important part of our democracy.”

Costa (D-Allegheny) was one of the 538 Electoral College electors nationwide to cast their votes.

“I was privileged to be an elector and be a part of the Electoral College,” Costa said.  “The ceremony symbolizes that the power of our nation rests in the people and that our government is accountable to our citizens.”

The Electoral College

The Constitution established an electoral college as a compromise between direct popular election of the president and election by Congress. The method of selecting electors was left to the states.

The Congress determined the time of choosing the Electors and the day they are to cast their votes. The day is the same throughout the United States.

Congress has enacted legislation requiring that presidential elections (the selection of electors) occur on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November every four years. Electors gather to vote on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

The two houses of Congress convene to count the electoral ballots in early January.

Clifford Levine of the Pittsburgh law firm of Cohen and Grigsby
presides over the Electoral College.

Among the other electors who participated in the Electoral College were Costa’s state Senate colleague Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Democratic chair of the Appropriations Committee, House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny), Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, state Treasurer Rob McCord and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Clifford Levine, an attorney with Cohen and Grigsby, a Pittsburgh law firm, presided over the session.  Attorney Levine was elected president of the Electoral College.

All 20 of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes were cast for President Obama because the president carried Pennsylvania by more than 300,000 votes.

Sen. Costa is pictured with Sen. Vincent Hughes, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Cliff Levine, President of Electorial College. Sen. Costa is pictured with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald , Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny)

Sen. Vincent Hughes, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Clifford Levine, President of Electoral College, are pictured with Sen. Costa.

Sen. Costa is pictured on the floor of the House of Representatives with Electors Rich Fitzgerald and House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny).

Sen. Jay Costa is pictured along with other Electoral College electors.  Costa is in the back row, third from the right
Electoral College Electors; Sen. Costa is in the back row, third from the right.

While the term Electoral College does not appear in the Constitution, Article II refers to electors.  The term Electoral College was initially referred to in federal law in 1845.  While the vast majority of electors abide by the will of the electorate of their states and cast their votes accordingly, on rare occasions some electors go “rogue” and vote for other candidates.  Two states do not have a winner-take-all system of apportioning electoral votes. 

Stay Connected

For updates on this and other legislative initiatives, stay in touch with me on the Internet through my website or on Facebook. Facebook