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12/20/2016 Rep. Diaz casts vote as Rhode Island presidential elector
STATE HOUSE — Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence) was one of four Rhode Island presidential electors who cast a vote for president when the Electoral College met Monday, Dec. 19.

Federal law provides that the college must meet in their respective states on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Monday’s meeting took place at noon in the House chamber at the State House.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve as an elector on this historic occasion,” said Representative Diaz. “This marks the first time in American history that a female candidate will receive electoral votes for president. As a black and Latina woman, I am proud to cast my vote.”

On Monday at noon, the Kentish Guards escorted Gov. Gina Raimondo, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, the four electors, Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation and any other dignitaries into the chamber of the House of Representatives to begin the ceremony. The Ponaganset High School Chamber Chorus sang the national anthem and the Rev. Israel Mercedes gave the invocation.

Rhode Island voters chose to give the state’s four electoral votes to Hillary Clinton, the first woman ever to be so honored. In addition to Representative Diaz, the other electors were Frank J. Montanaro Sr., Clay Pell and L. Susan Weiner. All electors voted for Hillary Clinton for president and Tim Kaine for vice president.

Electors signed six separate copies of the Certificate of Vote. One copy was sent to the Vice President, two were sent to the national archivist, two were retained by the Rhode Island secretary of state and one was given to the chief judge of the U.S. District Court.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Vice President Joseph Biden will preside over a joint session of Congress. The ballots of the electors from each state will be opened in alphabetical order by state and read aloud to Congress. 

The Secretary of State's office shares responsibility for staging elections with municipal boards of canvassers and the state Board of Elections. The Secretary of State's office prepares ballots, maintains the statewide voter registration database, encourages voter registration and turnout and creates guides to running for office and voting. The state Board of Elections oversees the delivery of ballots, maintenance of voting equipment and training of poll workers. Local boards of canvassers select polling places and poll workers. 

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903