Can Congress Reject Electoral College Votes?

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Can Congress Reject Electoral College Votes?
Image credit to Wikimedia Commons.


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On December 14, electors from all 50 states placed their official votes for their states. On January 6, the vote count will be finalized, and election results will be certified.

But how does the vote cast look like now, and can Congress reject the Electoral College votes?

According to king5, com, the official process for electors casting their votes is as follows:

The state’s electors will meet on December 14, 2020, and send six copies of their votes to the President of the Senate, that state’s Secretary of State, the Archivist of the United States, and the federal judicial district the electors met. Congress will count the votes during a joint session on January 6, 2021.

Each governor has to send a certificate showing which slate of electors won the popular vote to the United States’ Archivist.

The governor will then deliver six identical certificates to the state’s electors. Then, electors will meet to vote for the president and vice president.


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After they vote and sign each certificate, each state sends its six copies to various places: one to the President of the Senate, Mike Pence, two to the Secretary of State for that state, two to the Archivist of the United States, and one to the federal judge in the district where the electors met.

The first day of the newly elected Congress is set to be on January 3, 2021.

On January 6, 2021, at 1:00 pm, Congress will read the results out loud and count them up in a joint session.

After all the results have been read aloud, the President of the Senate, Mike Pence, will announce whether any candidates received the majority vote.

The US code allows Congress to object to the electoral votes. However, the objection needs to be done in writing and signed by at least one Senator and one Representative.

If Congress disapproves of the Electoral College results, the presidency will then be decided in the House of Representatives, with each state delegate getting one vote. Meanwhile, the vice president will be determined in the Senate.

“There isn’t a ton of guidance about… what does and doesn’t count as an objection,” Mulji said. “Because these are internal rules of Congress, it’s up to the houses of Congress to decide whether the objections are valid.”

After an objection has been formally made, the two houses will hold separate votes on whether to accept or reject the result. If there’s a split decision — meaning the House voted one way and the Senate voted the other — the objection will fail, and the votes will be counted as originally cast.

After that, the typical electoral count continues. If a candidate manages to receive a majority of votes at 270, they will officially win.

If no candidate receives a majority during the Electoral College meeting, the vote goes to the House of Representatives, with each state getting one vote.


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