One More Round of Voting, as Electors Do Their Duty

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In state capitals across the country, a select group of Americans who make up the Electoral College met on Monday to cement President-elect Barack Obama’s victory, in a year when new figures showed that voter turnout reached its highest level since 1968.

In a quadrennial ritual that has been criticized by some as an outdated part of the American political system, 538 electors, chosen for their party loyalty, cast their votes on Monday. Mr. Obama was expected to receive 365 votes to 173 for Senator John McCain, his Republican challenger, although the tally will not be made official by Congress until January.

This year’s vote included an Electoral College oddity: Nebraska split its votes for the first time as Mr. Obama became the first Democrat since 1964 to pick up one of its electoral votes, having won the Second Congressional District, which includes Omaha. While most states apportion their votes in a winner-take-all system, Nebraska and Maine award them on different formulas.
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