A growing number of Republican senators — led by Ted Cruz — announced today they also will object to certifying state Electoral College votes on Wednesday and called for resurrecting an Electoral Commission to conduct an emergency audit of the results.
Why it matters: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to avoid the spectacle of his party leading a last-ditch effort to prevent Joe Biden from being declared the 2020 election winner, but Josh Hawley of Missouri said he would raise a general objection and now other Republican senators plan to air more specific grievances.
Ayatollah Ted’s 2024 Goat Rodeo campaign motto is, Leave No Cinder Block Unthrown. He wants to destroy democracy so he can be elected to run the gubmint, makes perfect sense to the seditionists.
And so before you ask, the question was on the radar of our pals at Electoral-Vote this morning:
Q: Could you give a step-by-step rundown of the process by which Congress will count the electoral votes, carried all the way to its end? Your opinion on how it will unfold will be nice to hear, too. R.J.C., Salem, OR
A: The first step in the process actually happens on January 3. On that day, Congress will receive the electoral counts from the Archivist of the United States, and will also adopt the rules that will govern the conduct of business on January 6. This portion of the proceedings isn’t getting much attention, because it’s normally pro forma—Congress just adopts the procedure laid out in the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Maybe that will happen again this year, but maybe it won’t. Don’t put it past Mitch McConnell to find a way to adjust things, so that challenges to electoral slates are strictly limited or are forbidden entirely.
Assuming that the normal procedures are followed, then Congress will commence a Joint Session at 1:00 p.m. on January 6. The presiding officer of the Senate (VP Mike Pence or, in his absence, President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley) will open the envelopes in alphabetical order of the states’ names, and then hand them off to the four members of Congress who have been appointed as “tellers.” The tellers will read the results, state by state (plus D.C.), in alphabetical order. After each result is read (so, 51 times), the presiding officer of the Senate will ask if there are any objections. Once any and all objections are resolved, then the tellers add up the total EVs, and announce the winner of the election.
As we know, there is going to be at least one objection this year (unless McConnell pulls a parliamentary rabbit out of his hat), and possibly more. The objection has to be in written form, has to lay out the basis for the objection, and has to be signed by at least one senator and one representative. Once the objection is lodged, the two houses of Congress adjourn to their respective chambers to discuss the matter. Then, each chamber votes whether to sustain the objection or not. If either chamber rejects the objection, then it is dead.
Needless to say, the House will reject any and all objections, so there is zero chance of Donald Trump overtaking Joe Biden. But even if an objection is sustained, then all that happens is that the slate of electors is returned to the governor of the state in question for them to re-submit. And undoubtedly all of them would re-submit the same slate of electors as they’ve already submitted. That particularly holds for Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all of them currently being led by Democratic governors.
And it doesn’t matter if all the Republican Senators object, it still has to pass BOTH houses of Congress.