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NY's Electoral College Meets In-Person On Monday

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis

The Electoral College meets in all 50 states on Monday. In New York, officials have decided, reluctantly, to hold the event in-person, despite the rising rate of the coronavirus.Electors include former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady, Senator from New York and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo, a Democrat, says they are holding the event in person to avoid any potential lawsuits from attorneys for the losing candidate, President Donald Trump, who have already launched numerous unfounded court challenges, to the November election.

“Apparently the law specifically says ‘meet in person at the state Capitol,'” said Cuomo on Friday. “There’s been so much litigation about the election, we don’t want to test the law.”

The 29 electors will meet in the Capitol’s Assembly chamber, the largest meeting room in the building, designed to hold 1,045 people. 

The governor’s Chief of Staff, Melissa DeRosa, says they hope to move quickly to limit the event to half an hour or less.

“We are going to test everybody before they get into the room,” DeRosa said. “People are going to be more than socially distanced.”

By the end of the meetings in all of the states, President-elect Joe Biden is expected to have 306 electoral votes. That’s more than the 270 needed to be elected president. President Donald Trump will have 232.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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