While not electronically operated, the choke is electrically operated. It is a simple affair; a flat, coiled spring inside the choke housing which connects to the choke plate via mechanical linkage. When the spring is cold it winds up a bit and, through the linkage, pulls the choke plate on the top front of the carb closed (or nearly so). When the engine starts 12V is applied to the choke coil spring which heats it up and causes it to un-wind a bit - thus gradually opening the choke over the course of, say, 5 or so minutes.
It is a rather simple check though. With the engine stone cold remove the flame arrestor on top of the carb. The choke plate should be closed. If it is not, operate the throttle briefly and see if it happens to close. If it does not close you've found your cold start problem.