The Electoral College has chosen former Vice President Joe Biden as winner of the presidential election. Now, Congress has to certify the results. Most of the time, this is just a formality. However, there’s a good chance the process will be challenged this time, so the proceedings will probably go differently this time.
When Congress Meets
Federal law requires Congress to meet on Jan. 6 to unseal certificates from each state containing records of their electoral votes. As president of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence oversee the session and is responsible for declaring the winner of the race.
When the House of Representatives and the Senate meet to count the votes, the vice president presents the certificates from each state by alphabetical order. The “tellers” from each chamber read each of the votes out loud. Then, they record and count the votes and the presiding officer announces the winner.
What Happens When There Is an Objection?
Some Republican members of both the House and the Senate have already said they plan to object to some of the certifications on Jan. 6. But Biden won 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. It is very unlikely that any of these challenges will be successful, or that enough of the votes could be discarded to make a difference. The session will be the last chance for Republicans to officially object to the outcome of the election.