ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In a year of virtual meetings and wall-to-wall Zoom calls, New York's Electoral College electors are still set to meet Monday the old fashioned way: in person.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one of the state's 29 electors, said Friday that state law on the subject requires an in-person meeting at the State Capitol and that precautions such as testing, masks and social distancing are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The state’s electors — a group of prominent Democrats that includes Bill and Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Letitia James and labor leader Randi Weingarten — will be tested for the virus before convening in the state Assembly chamber of the capitol in Albany.
The Democratic ticket of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won New York en route to surpassing the 270 electoral votes required to take the White House. President Donald Trump, who grew up in Queens and gained fame as a Manhattan developer, changed his residency to Florida last year.
Cuomo said state officials decided against holding the Electoral College meeting virtually because they didn't want to risk the chance of yet more election-related litigation as Trump's lawyers and a group of 17 GOP state attorneys general make long-shot attempts to reverse his loss.
“I don’t want to create any issues for litigation where somebody tries to invalidate the New York election,” Cuomo said.
The Assembly chamber has a capacity of about 1,000 people, meaning there's plenty of space to keep the electors six feet apart, Cuomo adviser Melissa DeRosa said. Officials plan to shorten the session to essential, constitutionally required duties so that electors can get in and out within a half hour, she said.