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Electoral College meets Monday to officially cast votes

The highlight on the Electoral School is even better this yr as a result of Trump has refused to concede and continued to make baseless allegations of fraud.

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 is when the Electoral School meets.

The Structure 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 School one other strong, plain 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 School:

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?

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

Below the Structure, states get numerous electors equal to their whole variety of seats in Congress: two senators plus nonetheless many members the state has within the Home of Representatives. Apart from Maine and Nebraska, states award all of their electoral school votes to the winner of {the popular} vote of their state.

WHAT’S THE BEEF WITH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE?

The Electoral School 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 twenty years — in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush and in 2016 when Donald Trump misplaced {the popular} vote to Hillary Clinton by practically three million votes.

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

WHO ARE THE ELECTORS?

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

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

Amongst 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 Conflict; 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.

WHERE DO THEY MEET AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

The Electoral School does not meet in a single place. As an alternative, every state’s electors and the electors for the District of Columbia meet in a spot chosen by their legislature, normally 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. Every certificates will get paired with a certificates from the governor detailing the state’s vote totals.

These six packets then get mailed to numerous individuals specified by regulation. A very powerful copy, although, will get despatched to the president of the Senate, the present vp. That is the copy that will likely be formally counted later.

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DO ELECTORS HAVE TO VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WHO WON THEIR STATE?

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

A little bit of an exception occurred in 2016 when 10 electors tried to vote for different candidates. These included individuals 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 wished 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 accordance with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

As soon as 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 Home and Senate meet individually to debate the difficulty. Each homes should vote to maintain the objection for it to matter, and the Democratic-led Home is unlikely to go together with any objections to votes for Biden. In any other case, the votes get counted as meant by the states.

After which there’s yet another step: inauguration.

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