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Counce to serve as GOP elector

Counce to serve as GOP elector
Counce to serve as GOP elector | Electoral college, Martin, Marilucille Counce

Marilucille Counce
Every four years as the country waits, watches and listens as to who will take the office of president many numbers are revealed, but one particular set of numbers ultimately makes the difference in the election ­–the number of electoral votes a candidate receives. Electoral votes are cast by members of the electoral college and each state is allowed a certain number of electors. The state of Tennessee has 11 electors and early this fall, Martin resident and former long-time state Republican executive committee member Marilucille Counce received a call and an offer to be one of the state’s 11 electors. “I got a call from the state representative office and they had put my name before the state Republican executive committee to be voted in as an elector,” Counce explained. Sixty-six people on the committee voted in the 20-year representative veteran and made it official at the October meeting. Though Counce admits it is difficult to understand all the details and intricacies of the electoral college, it basically functions in the way that, “We go to Nashville, in my case if McCain wins, and we sign papers making it official that he has won.” In admitting her lack of complete understanding about the process, Counce admits to a truth many people confess having trouble grasping. There is a popular vote and an electoral vote, but a higher popular vote means nothing if the electoral vote is lower. As a brief background, the electoral college originated in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Unable to decide on whether Congress or the people should select the president, framers of the Constitution settled on the electoral college to make the decision. Electors appointed by each state meet, according to law, on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December in a presidential election year “in their respectable states.” Each elector is required by federal law to sign and seal six copies of a certificate listing the elector’s choice for president and vice-president. One copy is sent to the president of the U.S. Senate who announces the results when the electoral votes are counted. Counce is certainly no rookie when it comes to serving her state in a committee position and her enthusiasm in serving is rooted entirely in following and honoring the guidelines set by the framers and founding fathers. After all, she much prefers the term “patriot” to “politician.” Crediting her husband, University of Tennessee at Martin professor emeritus Elmer Counce, with “rubbing off on me” the desire to stay current and up to date on the state of the country, Counce attended her first convention with her husband when he was a delegate to the national convention in Miami in 1972. From there, she became a delegate to the National Republican Convention and attended events in Dallas in 1984, New Orleans in 1988, Houston in 1992, San Diego in 1996 and 2000 and New York in 2004. “My husband has been my mentor ever since marriage. He reads constantly and stays informed on happenings in Washington. He knows about our Congress and how they vote — which ones are conservative and which ones are liberal,” she admitted. “Some people criticize in our country without seeming to realize we have three branches of government and that the president is not like a king to dominate, but can only act mostly with Congress approval.” “My main reason for serving is patriotism,” she added. “I call myself a patriot because I care co much what happens to this great country and how our founding fathers founded this country on the Bible and God. The value system means more to me than any economy system. Alexis De Tocqueville from France came to America generations ago to see why American was so great. He said he found, ‘that American was great because it was good and that if it ever cased to be good it would cease to be great.’” In 2004, Counce attended the convention in New York dressed as Martha Washington. She was interviewed by television, radio and newspaper reporters and commented that, “If we don’t get back to the original intent of the founding fathers, we will slide off into the Grand Canyon.” As a representative, Counce met “so many interesting people, friends and contacts” including Richard Nixon, Oliver North, Shirley Temple Black, Charlton Heston, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush, Dr. James Kennedy and several other presidents, senators, representatives and celebrities just to name a few. Now that she has had the privilege of meeting so many people, learning from her experiences and observing how differences are made, she is ready to put her theory into practice in helping to elect a new president. “Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t call. I stay so busy with events,” she admitted. Then, after pausing to get to the heart of the issue, going beyond even patriotism, she continued, “I care because I have five grandkids coming along and I hope we’re going to last a long time.” WCP 10.28.08

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