PHOTO CREDITS: ASSOCIATED PRESS
Congress meets on January 6th to certify the election – here’s what you can expect in the final stage in the selection of an American president.
A joint session of the US Congress meets at 1 pm on Wednesday to formally count the votes cast by the electoral college – 306 for Biden, 232 for Donald Trump – in the last step of the process for certification of the new president. The meeting, required by the U.S. Constitution, also marks one of the last opportunities for Trump to present any evidence to protest his loss. Under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate meet in the Capitol. Mike Pence will preside in his role as president of the Senate (The Guardian).
The vice-president opens certificates of the electoral votes delivered from each state – whose electors met to cast their ballots on 14 December – and hand them to party “tellers” to read aloud. As they read each state’s certification, Pence will ask if there are official objections. Any such objections are then read out, resulting in a suspension of the session and members of the two legislative houses considering them separately.
Discussion on each objection is limited to two hours. Both houses then vote on the objection, with a simple majority required to toss out that state’s votes. After all votes are counted, it falls to Pence to declare the winner of the election. So far, Pence – who has not acknowledged that Trump lost his bid for reelection – has remained relatively quiet on his role in the electoral vote count process (News Break).
Multiple House Republicans have indicated that they will object to some state’s electoral votes, citing alleged electoral fraud. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., has led the charge. He and other conservatives met with Trump and Pence at the White House on Dec. 21 to discuss the effort. After the meeting, Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga. , and Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas , announced that they planned to object to electoral votes.
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE