Closure casts wrench in Md. electoral vote

Dec. 15, 2008 at 10:02 AM
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ANNAPOLIS, Md., Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Construction at Maryland's Capitol has thrown the state's scheduled Electoral College vote out of whack.

By statute, the presidential electors are supposed to convene at the state house in Annapolis the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December -- or Monday -- to tally the 10 Electoral College votes, The Washington Post reported. But a major renovation project forced lawmakers to think outside the box, or building as is the case, to record the vote. President-elect Barack Obama claimed 62 percent of the state's popular vote to Republican candidate Sen. John McCain's 37 percent.

A state attorney general's opinion concluded the "commonsensical" view of the law would allow the state to move its gathering to another site and election officials chose a Senate office building.

"Not allowing the meeting to be held in another building in Annapolis would be tantamount to concluding that the electors must either not meet at all, or that they meet in the midst of a massive construction project in the state house," Sandra Benson Brantley, an assistant attorney general, wrote, explaining neither alternative made sense.

A piping project has made the capitol a hard-hat area since April.

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