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New Hampshire electors give 4 presidential votes to Clinton

  • Former N.H. House speaker Terie Norelli

  • New Hampshire’s Democratic electors (from left) Dudley Dudley, Terie Norelli, Bev Hollingworth and Carol Shea-Porter are sworn in before casting their Electoral College ballots for Hillary Clinton at the State House in Concord on Monday. Elizabeth Frantz photos / Monitor staff

  • New Hampshire’s Democratic electors meet to cast their four Electoral College ballots for Hillary Clinton at the State House in Concord on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Electors seal copies of their ballots with a wax seal after casting their votes for Hillary Clinton. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Electors Dudley Dudley (left) and Terie Norelli embrace after Norelli gave a passionate speech decrying sexism and thanking Hillary Clinton during the Electoral College vote at the State House in Concord on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. All four Democratic electors voted for Clinton. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • Demonstrators with anti-Donald Trump signs gather outside the State House.

  • Secretary of State Bill Gardner gives a history of New Hampshire's Electoral College participation before electors cast their votes at the State House in Concord on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)



Monitor staff
Monday, December 19, 2016

Four women cast historic but bittersweet ballots Monday when they gave New Hampshire’s four Electoral College votes to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win a major party’s nomination to the presidency.

“Today, I am, I will admit, incredibly sad that the candidate that I supported, the one I believed to be the most qualified candidate in many decades, will not be the next president of the United States,” said elector Terie Norelli before she cast her ballot in Executive Council chamber at the State House. “But today I am also incredibly proud.”

Norelli, a former state House Speaker, also discussed how “sexism is alive and well” to a packed room that included lawmakers, citizens, and a fourth-grade class from Inter-Lakes Elementary in Meredith.

“If we listened, we heard it during the campaign every day. Her voice was too loud,” Norelli said. “She was too ambitious. She was too emotional. She was not emotional enough. She laughed too loudly. She didn’t smile enough. She was a ‘nasty woman.’ ”

Clinton won the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes on Nov. 8, but her opponent, Donald Trump, stymied her in the Electoral College, clinching 304 Electoral College votes to Clinton’s 227.

Because Clinton took New Hampshire in November, the state Democratic Party’s slate of Electoral College members got to vote Monday instead of the New Hampshire Republican Party’s slate of electors.

The split between the expected Electoral College outcome, which determines who wins the presidency, and the popular vote has led to renewed scrutiny of the body.

In a long-shot, last-ditch effort to stop a Trump presidency, some had called on electors to ignore how their states voted in order to come up with an alternative. But despite protests around the country – including a small, subdued one in front of the New Hampshire State House – Trump looked poised to officially snap up the needed votes as news reports arrived from across the country.

Meanwhile, others have revived proposals for doing away with the Electoral College altogether.

Durham elector Dudley Dudley spoke before casting her ballot about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would effectively align the Electoral College with the popular vote if adopted by enough states to control 270 Electoral College votes.

“It’s not my intention to enter into a discussion of the Compact today but rather to take this opportunity to bring attention to it and to encourage us all to study its provisions,” she said.

Ten states and the District of Columbia have already adopted the compact, Dudley said.

Elector Bev Hollingworth told the crowd she was “very concerned that the divisive politics of the recent campaign will carry forward and weaken our democracy.”

But she also urged that “disappointment must not lead to disengagement. Too much is at stake.”

First District Congresswoman-elect Carol Shea-Porter, also an elector, echoed Dudley in her comments.

“Now think that she did win the popular vote. And the popular vote (margin of victory) is the size of two of the state of New Hampshire. Two. That is a huge number of people in the popular vote – and we need to address this,” she said.

Noting that each of the electors were women who had held a certain political office for the first time – Shea-Porter was the first woman the state sent to Congress – she reflected on the state of women today, and recalled a quote from Abigail Adams.

“She said, ‘Remember the ladies.’ ” Shea-Porter said. “And honestly, I think they forgot.”

Sitting in a chair in a corner of the room, Marjorie Curran watched the moment unfold after driving up from Manchester with a friend.

Curran, 78, said she wasn’t surprised it had taken so long to get here.

“I think women are too threatening. I don’t know,” she said.

A retired social worker, Curran said she came to watch the ceremony because she “needed something uplifting, because I’ve been shattered by the election.”

“I’m glad to see the end of 2016,” she said.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)