Electoral College Votes Today, Here's What To Expect

Electoral College Votes Today, Here's What To Expect 1

On Monday, members of the Electoral College will gather throughout the day in their respective states to cast their official ballots for president. Most states will offer livestreams to watch the proceedings, which will take place at locations chosen by state legislatures – typically the state’s capitol. Exceptions include Delaware – whose electors will meet in a gym, and Nevada – which will be the only state to hold its meeting virtually this year, according to the New York Times.

Electors will use paper ballots to cast their votes for president and vice president.

And while 33 states require their electors to choose whoever won the state’s popular vote, 17 other states don’t “bind” their electors – who can vote for whomever they choose. If they cast a vote for another candidate than the one which won the state, they are considered ‘faithless electors.’ In 2016, two faithless electors didn’t vote for Trump, while five faithless electors didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. The seven electors were from Hawaii, Texas and Washington State.

Electors typically have a close relationship with the candidates or politicians in their states. For example, in 2016 Democratic activist Ed Buck – a deep-pocketed political donor since charged with three counts of battery after multiple drugged black men were found dead in his apartment – was selected for the electoral college, likely by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), his district’s congressman who accepted political donations from the accused bundler.

Electoral College Votes Today, Here's What To Expect 2Rep. Adam Schiff stands next to Ed Buck

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter was also a California elector in 2016.

What happens after the electors meet?

The votes are officially counted in Congress during a joint session held in the House chamber on Jan. 6, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the affair. Pence will open the certificates, organized in alphabetical order by state, and present them to four “tellers” – two from the Senate and two from the House, who count the votes. Once Joe Biden receives at least 270 votes, as is expected to be the case, Pence will announce the result. The session cannot end until the count is complete and publicly declared, at which point the election is officially decided.

Can members of Congress block the process?

Once the result is read on January 6, members of Congress will have one opportunity to lodge complaints, which must be made in writing and signed by at least one Senator and one member of the House. The objection would then be debated by each chamber separately, with each member of Congress allowed five minutes to speak. The debate has a hard stop after two hours, after which each body will vote on whether to reject the state’s results, according to the Times.

The Times also notes that some Trump allies are “already planning objections,” which should “make for good political theater” but would be unlikely to change the outcome of the election. 

Does this end Trump and his allies’ fight to challenge the election?

According to Trump Campaign attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, “The only fixed day in the U.S. Constitution is the inauguration of the President on January 20 at noon,” suggesting that they will exhaust every legal option to overturn the results based on accusations of widespread fraud across several key states.

That said, Ellis had previously called Jan. 6, vote counting day, a date of “ultimate significance.”

That said, last month Trump told reporters that if Biden is elected by the Electoral College, Trump would leave office.

“Certainly I will, and you know that,” he said, adding “I will and, you know that,” though he also said “It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud.”

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