NEWBERRY COUNTY — The U.S. Constitution, in Article II Section 1, established the Electoral College, a process which the National Archives and Records Administration says was instituted as a compromise between electing a president by Congressional vote and popular vote.
The Palmetto State is allotted nine electoral votes which all go to the candidate who takes the majority in the state’s popular vote.
Therefore every election the Democratic and Republican parties each nominate nine individuals who would have the opportunity to cast their votes should their candidate prevail.
This year one of those nine GOP electoral votes belongs to longtime Newberry County educator Brenda Bedenbaugh, who has been selected to represent the state’s Third District in the Dec. 19 vote.
Bedenbaugh, 76, was nominated by Pickens County GOP chairman Phillip Bowers at the party’s quarterly meeting last month.
She said nominators make their selections based on an individual’s values and involvement in the party — Bedenbaugh has served in a variety of capacities for many years including a stint as the Saluda County GOP chair.
“I think that each of us ought to be concerned about our government and I have always felt that I needed to be involved and try to do anything I could for my community and state,” she said. “Through my activities with the party I feel like I’ve made a difference.”
This represents the second time she has received this particular honor, having served previously in 2004.
“It was a very humbling experience,” she said. “I was a history teacher so I had taught this process but never dreamed I would ever have the privilege to be a part of the process.”
The electors met in Columbia to cast their votes and were then given the opportunity to attend George W. Bush’s inauguration.
If the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, wins South Carolina in the upcoming general election then Bedenbaugh’s vote will be one of 538 votes which formally elect the next President of the United States.
Bedenbaugh was raised in the upstate and graduated from Walhalla High School, later marrying and relocating to the Midlands to teach.
Although she now resides in Saluda County, Bedenbaugh has been working in Newberry County since 1965 and attends church at First Baptist.
After retiring from education she received her Realtor’s licence and currently works as a broker out of ERA Wilder’s Main Street office.
Should Hillary Clinton prevail in the Palmetto State this November, the nine Democratic electors will vote and Bedenbaugh will have to sit this one out.
Major August polls from the Feldman Group, Gravis Marketing and Public Policy show Trump leading in South Carolina by an average of just 2.7 percent with an average of 14.7 percent of voters either undecided or opting for a third-party selection.
For the record, South Carolina’s electoral votes have gone to the Republican candidate in every election since 1964 with the exception of Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.