Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY — Six Utah presidential electors cast their ballots Monday for Mitt Romney, who beat President Barack Obama in the state's general election but lost his bid for the White House.
Members of the Electoral College cast ballots around the country Monday in the vote that technically determines the outcome of the presidential race, giving Obama well over the 270 electoral votes he needed to secure a second term over his Republican challenger.
Unlike some states that allow electors to vote contrary to election results, Utah's six electoral votes all must go to the state's top vote-getter, said Justin Lee, state deputy director of elections.
Each political party with a presidential candidate on the Utah ballot chooses electors, but it's those selected by the political party whose nominee wins in Utah who end up casting the official ballots sent to Congress.
Do I wish I was voting for the winner? Absolutely. But do I stand in line and say, as an American, the election is over and I will support the president of the United States? Absolutely.
–John Swallow, incoming Utah attorney general
The event was a little bittersweet since Utahns had such high hopes for Romney, said Thomas Wright, chairman of the Utah Republican Party. But Wright said he and others in the GOP are committed to working with Obama to make his second term better than the first.
Incoming Utah Attorney General John Swallow echoed Wright's thoughts.
"Do I wish I was voting for the winner? Absolutely," Swallow said. "But do I stand in line and say, as an American, the election is over and I will support the president of the United States? Absolutely."
A first-time elector, Wright said it was a great experience to be involved in the democratic process. For Stan Lockhart, it was the second time he's been chosen as an elector.
"Getting elected to be an elector is just really cool," said Lockhart, a former chair of the Utah Republican Party. "You feel the sense of responsibility. It's such a privilege to represent the people of Utah."
Lee said the balloting, held in the Utah Supreme Court chambers at the state Capitol, lasted only about 10 minutes and was witnessed by elementary and high school students.
There was applause when the six ballots were announced for Romney, Lee said. Romney, the leader of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and a Mormon like many Utahns, won nearly 73 percent of the state's vote in November.