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Legislator who came to United States as refugee presents Washington’s votes to nominate Biden

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 18, 2020

State Rep. My-Linh Thai presented Washington’s vote for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president during the 2020 Democratic National Convention.  (Washington House Democrats)
State Rep. My-Linh Thai presented Washington’s vote for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. (Washington House Democrats)

The Democratic National Convention continued its unconventional process for one of the most iconic exercises of the quadrennial event, the roll call of the states in which votes are formally cast for the nominees.

As usual, the result wasn’t in doubt. But because most delegates and party officials are not in Milwaukee, the roll call was done from locations in the 50 states, District of Columbia and various U.S. territories.

Gone were the long-winded speeches extolling local attributes, replaced by a few sentences on a select topic, recorded in front of iconic vistas or familiar locations, like the Las Vegas Strip, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, desert cacti in Arizona, the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama or Joe Biden’s childhood home in Pennsylvania.

Washington’s votes were announced with the Seattle skyline and Space Needle in the background by state Rep. My-Linh Thai, a first-term legislator who explained she came to the country as a refugee at age 15 and realized education was the key to finding opportunity.

“Democrats invest in education because we’re committed to fighting for all kids,” Thai said before casting 43 votes for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 66 for Biden.

Idaho’s votes were announced from Boise, where Mayor Lauren McLean said the state wasn’t waiting for the federal government to act on climate change.

“Here in Boise, we know that clean energy doesn’t just mean a healthier planet. It means good jobs,” she said. “Imagine what we could do with a president who listens to science and leads with courage.”

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