Mary Jane Avery, a cellist who performs locally, is a longtime political activist in the Burnet County GOP and, for the first time, an elector in the Electoral College who gets to cast a vote directly for the president of the United States. File photo
Election Day is over, but the 38 Texas members of the Electoral College must still cast an important vote in the presidential contest Dec. 14 at the state Capitol. Marble Falls resident Mary Jane Avery will be one of them.
Texas Republicans picked electors by congressional districts, and Avery represents District 25, which includes Burnet County. This is her first time as an elector, but she is active in the Republican party. She has been a convention delegate and alternate as well as a Burnet County precinct chair.
“The most important thing about running to be an elector is that you’re a faithful elector,” Avery said. “In our case, we vote for President Trump.”
Trump won the popular vote in Texas — and its 38 electoral votes — in the race against former Vice President Joe Biden, who came away with more popular votes nationwide and more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
Avery had to run to be an elector at the Republican Party of Texas State Convention. The convention was slated to take place in Houston this year, but was ultimately held online after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the event due to COVID-19 fears.
“There’s 500-700 people in our caucus, so, of course, I had all of my materials printed out, but our Convention took place over the internet,” Avery said. “Running on the internet was a little bit different, but, of course, we had Zoom. So, you got up and you made your speech. You had very short windows of time.”
Several others ran for the district elector position and there was a runoff election, which Avery won.
“I am very excited,” Avery said. “It’s an honor to represent our president. And, we have worked very, very hard since January in Burnet County to educate our Republican voters, our conservative voters to vote the entire Republican ticket, not to leave anybody behind.”
When asked about the critiques of the Electoral College in recent elections and calls to dismantle it, she is quick to rebuff.
“Why would you? It’s worked for hundreds of years,” she said. “Why would you dismantle that? Then, you’d be at the mercy of the California, New York, and liberal states. The Electoral College has been set up for a purpose, and that purpose has served well during our history.”
Avery said she doesn’t have any special plans when it comes time to vote. It will be an all-business affair of driving to Austin on Dec. 14 and voting at 2 p.m. The event is scheduled to only take an hour. Then, she’s heading straight back to Burnet County for an executive committee meeting that night with state Rep. Terry Wilson.
“It is an honor on behalf of every person that voted in our congressional district for the president. It is an honor to represent them on the fourteenth to officially put forward the name of the president,” she said.
“We’re very thankful for the people that came our way and supported the president and, by the way, are still supporting the president because this election is not over,” she added.