Wilton resident casts Electoral College vote for Biden, Harris

John Kalamarides of Wilton speaks during Connecticut's Electoral College proceedings in Hartford on Dec. 14.

John Kalamarides of Wilton speaks during Connecticut's Electoral College proceedings in Hartford on Dec. 14.

CT-n /

WILTON — Town resident John Kalamarides was among those who cast a ballot Monday in the Electoral College vote.

Kalamarides, a former chairman of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee, joined the state’s six other electors in the Senate chamber who certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the winners of Connecticut’s popular vote.

“I nominated myself and I told our chair that I thought I’d like to do it,” Kalamarides said of being an elector. “I never for a moment thought it would have the significance this year that it does. And I just feel extraordinarily fortunate to have been selected and be able to do this.

“Democracy is so fragile,” he said. “We are so lucky that Joe and Kamala have won.”

The proceedings — which included a pre-recorded pledge of allegiance by students from Danbury’s Center for Alternative Excellence and Darien’s Middlesex School, the national anthem performed by the UConn-Men a cappella group, and an invocation by Bishop John Seldors of the United Church of Christ in Hartford — may be viewed on CT-n.

The electors reviewed copies of the governor’s certificate certifying the appointment of presidential electors and copies of the certificate of ascertainment. They were then collected and the electors stood, raised their right hands and took the oath of office. Susan Barrett, of Fairfield, was appointed chairwoman and Kalamarides was appointed vice chairman.

Each elector received a ballot for president, which they signed and dropped into a box believed to be made from the historic Charter Oak. After those votes were counted, they did the same for vice president.

Each elector signed the certificates of appointment of the presidential electors and the certificates of ascertainment of votes, which were then sealed with wax.

According to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Connecticut is among a handful of states that still does this.

One copy of each will be forwarded by certified mail to Vice President Mike Pence. Two copies are delivered to Merrill, two copies are forwarded to the National Archives and Record Administration in Washington, and one copy will be delivered to the Honorable Stefan Underhill, chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut in New Haven.

The electors are allowed to receive $10 a day for their duties but following tradition, they voted unanimously to waive the compensation.