While most people never have the opportunity to serve as an elector for the now infamous U.S. Electoral College, Garrett Monti has been named one a second time by Louisiana’s Republican Party.
Monti will serve among 538 people in the nation as an elector. His name also can be found on the U.S. Electoral College Roster for 2012 when Mitt Romney ran for president.
“It’s a tremendous honor and I’m very honored to be a part of that constitutional institution,” said the Luling business owner. “So far, there have only been two electors in St. Charles Parish with the other being Henry Smith (Gary Smith’s grandfather).”
The U.S. Constitution only prohibits an elector from serving who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States or given aid and comfort to its enemies.” Electors are certified by the state they live in before an election.
According to the U.S. Electoral College, the process varies by state and is controlled by the political parties. Electors are typically chosen at the party’s convention.
“It’s an honor reserved for party activitists,” Monti said. It’s also reserved for “people who the party trusts to vote in accordance with the will of the people.”
The U.S. Electoral College is the body that elects the president and vice president every four years. Citizens choose electors to cast the votes. Except for Maine and Nebraska, all states have chosen electors on a “winner-take-all” basis since the 1880s.
“I consider it quite the honor in looking at names of people who have done it in the past,” he said. “To be one of 538 people who vote for president is amazing when you think of that on that scale.”
In Louisiana, a vote for a candidate is a vote for the slate of candidates on the party ticket
“On the ballot, you’ll see the names and next to them eight electoral votes,” Monti said. “It’s really more an honor than anything else.”
And, so far, he’s the only one on the ballot in a highly contentious presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
“I think it will be decided before I get to it,” Monti said. But he’s confident Trump will win Louisiana and if that happens he goes to Baton Rouge to cast his vote on Dec. 19. “It’s fairly likely of a Trump win in Louisiana.”
Monti said the Electoral College serves as a “buffer.”
“It moderates elections, forces candidates to build consensus and candidates can’t just focus winning the Coast,” Monti said. “Candidates win by popular vote, but the Electoral College is a weighted average of that.”