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Russ Warren of Mounds View is one of 10 Minnesota DFL Party electors.
A Fridley-area man is one of 10 Minnesota electors casting ballots for president Monday.
Russ Warren of Mounds View (who city records show at an address about a mile east of Fridley) is scheduled to take part when the Minnesota Electoral College gathers to vote for president and vice president at noon Monday at the state Capitol.
Because the Democratic Party ticket of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden won the most votes in Minnesota, the state's DFL Party will send its slate of electors and alternates to today's ceremony.
Minnesota, like other states, has one electoral vote for each member of Congress (two U.S. senators and eight U.S. representatives).
If you have any doubts about who Warren will vote for today, here's a St. Paul Pioneer Press photo of Biden giving him a hug at Biden's August campaign rally in Minneapolis. (According to the caption, Biden said, "I'm not gonna hug you!" and Warren replied, "The hell you're not!")
But electors don't have to vote for their party's ticket, as the Minnesota Secretary of State's FAQ page on the Electoral College system explains:
Q: Are the presidential electors required to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates that their party has nominated?
A: No. An elector can cast a ballot for any individual, whether or not the individual was that party's candidate for the office. This has happened several times in other states in recent years. (In West Virginia, 1988, a Democratic Party elector reversed the ticket and voted for Lloyd Bentsen for President and Michael Dukakis for Vice-President; Washington State, 1976, a Republican Party elector voted for Ronald Reagan for President, although Gerald Ford was the Republican nominee that year; Virginia, 1972, a Republican Party elector voted for John Hospers and Theodora Nathan, the Libertarian presidential ticket.)
In 2004, a Minnesota elector pledged for John Kerry and John Edwards, cast his or her presidential vote for John Ewards [sic], rather than John Kerry, presumably by accident. (All of Minnesota's electors cast their vice presidential ballots for John Edwards.) Minnesota's electors cast secret ballots, so unless one of the electors claims responsibility, it is unlikely that the identity of the faithless elector will ever be known.
As a result of this incident, Minnesota Statutes were amended to provide for public balloting of the electors' votes and invalidation of a vote cast for someone other than the candidate to whom the elector is pledged.