How it works: Presidential candidates in the United States win elections by winning the most electoral votes.
The Electoral College system apportions a certain number of votes to each state. When voters in a state vote for a party’s candidate, they are casting a vote for that party’s slate of electors.
Those electoral votes are counted by Congress. If a candidate gets 270 or more, he win the Presidency.
On 14 December 7 states sent a slate of Democratic electors chose Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Republican electors also cast votes for President Trump.
Thus creating 7 sets of dueling electors, or alternates. Both groups are sending certificates of ascertainment to Congress, which is slated to convene in a joint session on 6 January 2021, to count electoral votes.
Alternative electors are unusual, but they have happened in our history. The last time was in the Y 1960 election, when the Governor of Hawaii certified electors for Republican Richard Nixon. Democratic electors cast their votes for Democrat John F. Kennedy.
A subsequent recount determined Kennedy won the state, and he was declared the winner in the joint session in Y 1961.
In this election there is historical precedent and in each of the 7 states there is pending litigation challenging the results of the election. If that litigation is successful, then The Trump Electors, having met and voted, would be have their votes certified and be the 1s properly counted in the joint session of Congress on 6 January.
The electoral votes have been officially counted and the votes have been sent along. There is nothing to be done, until the matter gets to Congress,
In 3 of the 7 states in question: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin Republicans control the state legislatures while Democrats hold the Governor’s posts. In Georgia and Arizona, Republicans control both and New Mexico and Nevada, Democrats control both.
According to the Congressional Research Service, when dueling slates are received, members of Congress in the joint session consider the list when its from a different state authority than the certified list, and conduct a vote.
Acceptance of either slate would then require a concurrent agreement in both the House and the Senate.
If there is no conflict in terms of state authority, the 1 determined to be appointed pursuant to the state’s election laws is counted.
If there is no determination by a state authority of which slate was lawfully appointed, the 2 chambers agree concurrently to accept the votes of 1 set, or decide not to accept either set.
If the 2 chambers do not agree, the electors certified by the state’s Governor shall be counted.
After electors cast their votes this week, focus has turned to the upcoming joint session, which takes place just 3 days after newly elected members of Congress are sworn in.
At least 4 people who will be in the House: Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala) and Representative-elects Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Barry Moore (R-Ala), and Bob Good (R-VA) have committed to filing objections during the session.
Objections must be made in writing by at least 1 Representative and 1 Senator. No Senators have committed to objecting yet.
The basis for an objection is that the electoral vote or votes were not “regularly given” by an electors, and/or that the elector was not “lawfully certified,” based on state election laws, according to the Congressional Research Service.
If an objection meets the requirements, the joint session is suspended, and each chamber withdraws to meet and debate the objection and choose whether to vote to uphold it.
Unless both chambers vote in the majority for the objection, it fails. If it is approved, it nullifies the state’s electoral votes, or could lead to the alternate slate being accepted.
I believe that when matter/s get to the joint session of Congress, there is going to be a fight about which of the slates of electors need to be counted based on the evidence and the statutory violations that are presented at the time.
As of the current certified vote count, Joe Biden has 306 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 232.
In Y 1877, a joint session of Congress met to count electoral votes and faced dueling electors from multiple states where vote tallies were controversial. The Democrat-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate eventually came to a compromise, creating a commission that included House members, Senators, and Supreme Court justices.
The commission met for wks before deciding on 2 March to award contested electoral votes to Rutherford B. Hayes, a Republican, handing him the election.
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