The members of the Electoral School will collect of their respective states on Monday to forged their official ballots for president. Ordinarily, the method is little greater than a proper responsibility to rubber-stamp the outcomes of the November election.
Not this yr.
For weeks, President Trump and his allies have pressured Republican officers to disregard the favored vote in close-fought states received by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and appoint their very own electors who would favor Mr. Trump. They’ve additionally requested courts at hand victory to the president in states he misplaced.
However judges and Republican state lawmakers have proven little urge for food for subverting the democratic course of, and the electors have remained. As they vote on Monday, Mr. Trump is actually assured to finish the day as he started it: a one-term president.
Right here’s extra on how the voting will work, and on the subsequent steps within the course of:
Can I watch the Electoral School vote?
Sure — most states provide livestreams to observe the proceedings, together with essential battlegrounds received by Mr. Biden. Listed here are hyperlinks for 4 of them: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
The electors don’t meet in a single place or at onetime; some begin at 10 a.m. Japanese, and most vote within the afternoon. California, the essential state for Mr. Biden to attain 270 Electoral School votes, meets at 5 p.m. Japanese.
Electors for every state and the District of Columbia meet at a location chosen by the state legislature, most frequently the state’s capitol. The Delaware electors are assembly in a gymnasium. Nevada is the one state holding its assembly just about this yr.
How does the Electoral School voting work?
The electors forged their ballots for president and vice chairman through paper poll. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia legally require their electors to decide on whoever received the state’s standard vote, so there ought to be no surprises there. The opposite 17 states don’t “bind” their electors, which means they will vote for whomever they select.
The electors have been chosen by state events (if Mr. Biden received a state, for instance, the Democrats’ slate of electors casts the votes). Usually, electors are political activists, officers, donors and other people with shut relationships to the candidates — which means they’re very prone to vote for the candidate they pledged to assist. In 2016, seven electors lodged protest votes for somebody aside from their social gathering’s candidate. However the chance of “faithless electors” switching sides and handing the election to Mr. Trump is actually zero.
After the electors forged their ballots, the votes are counted and the electors signal certificates exhibiting the outcomes. These are paired with certificates from the governor’s workplace exhibiting the state’s vote totals. The certificates are despatched to Vice President Mike Pence, in his capability as president of the Senate; the Workplace of the Federal Register; the secretary of state of the respective state; and the chief decide of the Federal District Court docket the place the electors meet.
What occurs subsequent?
Congress formally counts the votes in a joint session held within the Home chamber on Jan. 6, with Mr. Pence presiding. Mr. Pence opens the certificates — in alphabetical order by state — and presents them to 4 “tellers,” two from the Home and two from the Senate, who rely the votes. When Mr. Biden reaches a majority with 270 votes, Mr. Pence publicizes the consequence.
The continuing is strictly prescribed by federal legislation, all the way down to the place varied politicians sit within the chamber. (Mr. Pence will get the speaker’s chair, Speaker Nancy Pelosi sits to his left, and the “tellers” sit on the clerks’ desks.)
The session can’t be ended till the rely is full and the consequence publicly declared. At this level, the election is formally determined. The one remaining process is the inauguration on Jan. 20.
Which Congress runs the method?
For the reason that new members will probably be sworn in on Jan. 3, the subsequent Congress will conduct this joint session. Democrats will maintain management of the Home. And Republicans will management the Senate, whatever the outcomes of the Georgia runoff elections on Jan. 5, as a result of Mr. Pence will nonetheless be in workplace to behave because the tiebreaking vote if the chamber is break up 50 to 50.
Can members of Congress block the outcomes?
There isn’t a debate permitted in the course of the counting of the electoral votes. However after the result’s learn, members of Congress get one alternative to lodge their considerations.
Any objection to a state’s outcomes have to be made in writing and be signed by at the least one senator and one member of the Home. The 2 chambers would then separate to debate the objection. Every member of Congress can converse solely as soon as — for 5 minutes — and after two hours the talk is reduce off. Every physique then votes on whether or not to reject the state’s outcomes.
For the reason that Electoral Depend Act was handed in 1887, there have been simply two situations of congressional objections, in 1969 and 2005. Neither handed both the Home or the Senate.
What’s the chance of Congress altering the result?
Stopping Mr. Biden from assuming workplace stays a long-shot technique for Republicans.
For an objection to face, it should go each homes of Congress by a easy majority. If the vote adopted social gathering strains, Republicans couldn’t block Mr. Biden’s victory.
Democrats management the Home, so an objection would already be doomed there. Within the Senate, Democrats would wish to select off solely a few Republicans to aspect with them to vote down the objection. Various Republican senators have declared Mr. Biden the president-elect.
With some Trump allies already planning objections, the congressional session is prone to make for good political theater. However the course of has little probability of fixing the result of the election.