State News

Electors cast N.C.'s official votes for Obama

Posted December 15, 2008 4:01 a.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2008 7:28 p.m. EST

— Members of the North Carolina electoral college met Monday to cast their ballots for the president and vice president.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall convened the 55th meeting of the electoral college in the Capitol's Old Hall of the House of Representatives in Raleigh for the ceremonial procedure to make November's popular vote official. North Carolina's 15 electors joined another 523 electoral voters nationwide to formally elect Barack Obama as president and Joe Biden as vice president.

The election determined that electoral voters nominated by the state Democratic Party would cast the official ballots for the state. It was the first time in 32 years that the Democrats cast the electoral votes since Obama was the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to carry the state.

"It was really the fulfillment of a dream," said Cary native Linda Gunter, who presided over the ceremony as president of the North Carolina Electoral College.

"Every four years, we worked so hard. This year, it all came together. I think it was the belief in Barack Obama that we could turn this state," Gunter said.

Kara Hollingsworth, 29, of Fayetteville, wasn't even born the last time a Democrat carried the state. She gave one of two nominating speeches for Obama Monday.

"New voters did make the difference," Hollingsworth said. "A candidate like Barack Obama is someone that brings so many young people back into politics."

Janice McKenzie Cole, who also gave a nominating speech for Obama, said the president-elect's inspirational message goes far beyond politics.

"To every child, every young person, this represents that anything is possible because of what we've seen Obama accomplish," Cole said.