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Electoral College ballotThe Electoral College for the State of New York officially cast their ballots for the President and Vice President of the United States during proceedings in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol in Albany on Monday, December 17, 2012. The ballots were cast for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, respectively.

New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales convened and presided over the Electoral College, per Article 12 of New York State Election Law, which stipulates that Electors meet at the State Capitol on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

Over 250 individuals witnessed the historic proceedings from the Senate Chamber, including over 100 schoolchildren from New York State. The Electoral College vote was also broadcast live for the first time ever on all Public Broadcasting System stations through the State to make it accessible to all citizens of New York.

“Since 1872, New York’s Electors have gathered to participate in this most important tradition,” said Perales. “New York’s history with the Electoral College is a storied one, with participation by everyone from abolitionists to politicians to business and civic leaders, among others, and we are excited to have continued this custom. I’d like to thank all the Electors who come from every walk of life and are a reflection of the diverse communities that comprise the great State of New York.”

The proceedings also provided New York with the special occasion to engage schoolchildren from all over the State, who witnessed the Electoral College either in person or on television, in a once in a lifetime educational civics lesson. “We believe it is vital that children, who aren’t yet of voting age, get the opportunity to learn more about how their government works and how their leaders are elected,” continued Perales. “These children are the leaders of tomorrow and we are certain the Electoral College vote will inspire and motivate them to be active citizens.”