New York's electoral college members, which include some of the most prominent people in state politics, will meet in the state Capitol building next week and cannot do so virtually, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said in an interview on WAMC.
The vote, set for Monday, is a pro forma event for New York to cast its votes in the presidential election. By constitutional law, the electors must meet in the Capitol building, Cuomo said.
"There's nothing in the constitution that says, 'Unless there is a pandemic,'" Cuomo said.
Officials had been reviewing the logistics of holding the event virtually, but concluded it could face legal scrutiny as President Donald Trump's campaign continues to file legal challenges to the election, which was won by President-elect Joe Biden.
Electors in New York include Cuomo himself as well as Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Letitia James and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
It is not yet clear how the electoral college will adhere to pandemic guidelines and still cast votes in the Capitol. State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs in a text message on Tuesday said planning was underway for "details and protocols" for casting the vote.
The state Capitol building in Albany has wide open chambers for the state Senate and Assembly. During the legislative session, lawmakers could cast votes in person, but did so one at a time in the chambers.