US Congress to Certify Electoral College Votes Amid Dispute

Published January 6th, 2021 - 11:03 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Highlights
Vice President Mike Pence will hand sealed certificates of states' certified results from a wooden box to tellers appointed from Congress to read.

Congress will meet in a joint session Wednesday to certify the Electoral College's votes to elect Joe Biden president, as some Republicans plan to object.

Members of the House and Senate will gather at 1 p.m. EST in the House chamber, where Vice President Mike Pence will hand sealed certificates of states' certified results from a wooden box to tellers appointed from Congress to read.

On Dec. 14, electors from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., cast their votes as determined by November's general election, giving Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris 306 electoral votes and President Donald Trump 232.

Generally, in presidential elections, certification is conducted pro forma, with the process lasting about a half-hour. But Trump repeatedly has refused to accept the election results, putting forth various unfounded claims of voter fraud in key states.

As a result, several Republican lawmakers in both chambers plan to object Wednesday. At least one House member and one senator must agree to raise an objection for it to be heard.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was the first senator to announce he would object to the certification of the votes, and he was followed by a group of 11 other senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

At least a dozen House Republicans also have said they plan to object.

When members from both the House and Senate raise objections. lawmakers will return to their chambers for a period of "not more than two hours" with members receiving up to five minutes to speak in favor of or against an objection.

A simple majority is required to uphold the objection in each chamber, but both the House and the Senate must agree to the objection for it to succeed.

 

Trump on Tuesday falsely claimed on Twitter that Pence, as vice president, has the power to "reject fraudulently chosen electors."

In reality, the Electoral Count Act of 1887 grants Pence the ability to preside over the certification in his role as president of the Senate, but does not allow him to intervene.

Last week, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, seeking to expand Pence's power. Gohmert contended that the 12th Amendment granted Pence "exclusive authority and sole discretion" to decide whether electors put forth by the states were valid and to replace them with Trump-appointed electors.

Pro-Trump protests challenging the results of the election that began Tuesday are expected to continue during the certification process, with Trump scheduled to speak at a rally at the Ellipse south of the White House at 11 a.m. EST.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright © UPI, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

You may also like