Massachusetts electoral votes set to be cast for Biden Monday

Boston Statehouse

Secretary William Galvin said some of the issues he intends to look at will be whether to shorten the timeline for mail-in voting in future elections, and whether it should be used in municipal elections, or made a local option. (Sam Doran/SHNS)

BOSTON (SHNS) – When Secretary of State William Galvin calls the roll at Monday’s Electoral College meeting, one elector will not answer.

Ronald Valerio of Auburn, who was chosen this year to cast one of the Bay State’s 11 electoral votes, died “unexpectedly” on Tuesday at 68, less than a week before the historic meeting. A desk in the House Chamber will bear Valerio’s name, and Secretary Galvin will include him in the roll call before declaring the seat to be vacant, a spokeswoman said.

A meeting is planned for Friday night to arrange in advance who will fill Valerio’s vacancy, and that selection will be finalized on Monday, Galvin’s office said. One of the college’s two alternate members, Thomas Holloway or Lesley Phillips, will probably be tapped for the role and get to cast one of the state’s 11 votes for President-elect Joseph Biden.

The other 10 Massachusetts electors are: Kathleen Donaghue of Westborough, Joseph Kelly of Hingham, Nicole LaChapelle of Easthampton, Thomas Larkin of Bedford, Robert Markel of Boston, Linda Monteiro of Boston, Jay Manuel Rivera of Lawrence, Norma Shulman of Framingham, Teresa Walsh of Medford, and Wayne Yeh of Boston.

They are chosen by the Democratic State Committee and pledge to vote for the party’s nominees. Normally a historic ritual that swells with pomp and circumstance, this year’s meeting will be a more muted affair, streamlined to prevent a lengthy in-person gathering.

There will be no choir singing from aloft in the gallery. No chaplain’s invocation. No special guests. And perhaps the most visual change: no tuxedos or evening gowns.

The electors are usually decked out in resplendent formalwear for the occasion, but they’ve decided amongst themselves to dispense with that formality, Galvin’s office said, opting instead for “business casual.”

The 3 p.m. event will be live-streamed on the Legislature’s website.

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