As you may have heard by now Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Nevada have conflicting sets of electors. What does this mean? It means the election is officially in dispute. There is no “President Elect” Biden.
You are about to get a lesson in the difference between a Republic and a Democracy.
Today Certified Electors from each of the above-mentioned states cast their ballots for the president and vice-president. Republican Electors in the above states cast their ballots for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. They did this because they believe the results of the November 3 election are rife with inconsistencies. They’ve seen enough evidence to believe fraud has occurred.
Because there is now a dispute within these states their ballots are sealed and will not be official until January 6, 2021 when Congress counts them.
These states had Constitutional authority (under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 and 3 U.S. Code § 2 and § 5) to appoint their own slate of Electors if they deem their state’s popular votes were corrupted. They had the legal right to appoint a competing slate of electors loyal to President Trump.
There is precedent for this – South Carolina, Florida, Oregon and Louisiana each sent competing Electors under seal to Congress in 1876. Rutherford B. Hayes won by one vote.
The 12th Amendment to the Constitution specifies that at 1:00 p.m. on January 6, a Joint Session of Congress meets “the Vice President opens the votes from each state in alphabetical order. He passes the votes to four tellers—two from the House and two from the Senate—who announce the results.”
Objections to electoral votes – “During the Joint Session, Members of Congress may object to individual electoral votes or to state returns as a whole. An objection must be declared in writing and signed by at least one Representative and one Senator. In the case of an objection, the Joint Session recesses and each chamber considers the objection separately in a session which cannot last more than two hours with each Member speaking for no more than five minutes. After each house votes on whether or not to accept the objection, the Joint Session reconvenes and both chambers disclose their decisions. If they agree to the objection, the votes in question are not counted. If either chamber does not agree with the objection, the votes are counted.” 3 U.S. Code § 15
This is a check on the Electoral College. Our Founders knew corruption would always exist and to maintain integrity in our elections, put a process in place to override suspected fraud. In this case, there are mountains of evidence.
Under the 12th Amendment, if neither Trump nor Biden received 270 electoral votes “the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote.”
Currently, Republicans have a state delegation majority with 26 (out of 50). Trump wins under this scenario as well.
If during the January 6 session, there are objections on the House floor I believe both the House and the Senate can take up a debate. Under the Electoral Count Act of 1877, it is unclear what happens if the Senate accepts a slate but the House rejects it.
What is clear in the 12th Amendment is the Senate would pick the Vice-President. With the current make up in both houses it appears that under this scenario Trump would be elected President and Pence would be elected Vice-President.
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