In a ceremony shortened by COVID-19 concerns, the New York electors gathered in a socially distanced manner in the state Assembly chamber, just as electors did nationwide, to elect Biden president and Harris vice president. Credit: NY Governor's Office

Former President Bill Clinton and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton led off New York state's formal casting of its 29 electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Monday, depositing old-fashioned paper ballots in a wooden box.

In a ceremony shortened by COVID-19 concerns, the New York electors gathered in a socially distanced manner in the state Assembly chamber just as electors did so nationwide to elect Biden president.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo presided over New York's vote, noting the masks worn by electors and the impact of the pandemic not only on the proceedings but also the 2020 election.

"The brevity of the proceeding does not minimize the gravity of our actions," Cuomo, a Democrat, said. "In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This pandemic, these masks, this physical configuration are a stark reminder to the nation that government matters and leadership matters and good government that not only improves people’s lives but can literally save people’s lives. So today, let the people choose our government and let us move forward."

The Clintons led a procession of electors to the ballot box. Votes were tallied quickly, giving Biden, who served as vice president under President Barack Obama, all 29 votes.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, received all 29 votes for vice president.

In New York state, Biden had 5.23 million votes compared with President Donald Trump's 3.24 million, according to final totals certified earlier this month by the state Board of Elections.

Three Long Islanders were among the state's electoral delegation: State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, State and Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs and Thomas J. Garry, vice Chair of the Nassau Democratic Committee.

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