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EXPLAINER: What’s In Store When The Electoral College Meets

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WASHINGTON: Voters forged their ballots for president greater than a month in the past, however the votes that formally matter will likely be forged Monday. That’s when the Electoral College meets.

The Constitution provides the electors the ability to decide on the president, and when all of the votes are counted Monday, President-elect Joe Biden is predicted to have 306 electoral votes, greater than the 270 wanted to elect a president, to 232 votes for President Donald Trump.

The highlight on the method is even better this yr as a result of Trump has refused to concede the election and continued to make baseless allegations of fraud. That makes the assembly of the Electoral College one other strong, simple step towards Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, when Biden will likely be sworn in as president.

Some questions and solutions in regards to the Electoral College:


In drafting the Constitution, America’s founders struggled with how the brand new nation ought to select its chief and finally created the Electoral College system. It was a compromise between electing the president by standard vote and having Congress select the president.

Under the Constitution, states get quite a lot of electors equal to their complete variety of seats in Congress: two senators plus nevertheless many members the state has within the House of Representatives. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all of their electoral faculty votes to the winner of {the popular} vote of their state.


The Electoral College has been the topic of criticism for greater than two centuries. One often-repeated gripe: the one who wins {the popular} vote can nonetheless lose the presidential election. That occurred twice within the final 20 years in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush and in 2016 when Donald Trump misplaced {the popular} vote to Hillary Clinton by almost three million votes.

Biden, for his half, received {the popular} vote and can find yourself with 306 electoral votes to Trumps 232. Trump was the fifth presidential candidate in American historical past to have misplaced {the popular} vote however received within the Electoral College.


Presidential electors sometimes are elected officers, political hopefuls or longtime occasion loyalists.

This yr, they embrace South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Trump elector who may very well be a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, and Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, her partys 2018 nominee for governor and a key participant in Biden’s win within the state.

Among others are 93-year-old Paul Pete McCloskey, a Biden elector who’s a former Republican congressman who challenged Richard Nixon for the 1972 GOP presidential nomination on a platform opposing the Vietnam War; Floridian Maximo Alvarez, an immigrant from Cuba who frightened in his Republican conference speech that anarchy and communism would overrun Biden’s America, and Muhammad Abdurrahman, a Minnesotan who tried to forged his electoral vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders as an alternative of Hillary Clinton in 2016.


The Electoral College doesn’t meet in a single place. Instead, every state’s electors and the electors for the District of Columbia meet in a spot chosen by their legislature, often the state capitol.

The election is low tech. Electors forged their votes by paper poll: one poll for president and one for vp. The votes get counted and the electors signal six certificates with the outcomes. Each certificates will get paired with a certificates from the governor detailing the state’s vote totals.

Those six packets then get mailed to varied folks specified by legislation. The most vital copy, although, will get despatched to the president of the Senate, the present vp. This is the copy that will likely be formally counted later.


In 32 states and the District of Columbia, legal guidelines require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this association in July. Electors virtually all the time vote for the state winner anyway, as a result of they often are dedicated to their political occasion.

A little bit of an exception occurred in 2016 when 10 electors tried to vote for different candidates. Those included folks pledged to assist Clinton who determined to not again her in a futile bid to get Republican electors to desert Trump and select another person as president.

Abdurrahman, the Minnesotan who needed to vote for Sanders, was changed as an elector. This yr, he has stated he’ll forged his vote for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, in response to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.


Once the electoral votes are forged, they’re despatched to Congress, the place each homes will convene on Jan. 6 for a session presided over by Vice President Mike Pence. The envelopes from every state and the District of Columbia will likely be opened and the votes tallied.

If at the least one member of every home objects in writing to some electoral votes, the House and Senate meet individually to debate the problem. Both homes should vote to maintain the objection for it to matter, and the Democratic-led House is unlikely to associate with any objections to votes for Biden. Otherwise, the votes get counted as meant by the states.

And then there’s another step: inauguration.

Disclaimer: This put up has been auto-published from an company feed with none modifications to the textual content and has not been reviewed by an editor


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