The Electoral College: A 2020 Presidential Election Timeline
Jumping the Proverbial Gun
November 3rd, 2020 was Election Day in the United States. It was the day for casting one’s ballot for President of the United States. Overall the day went rather smoothly as folks made their way to local voting precinct polling places or dropped off their mail-in ballots that had missed the state deadline for mailing them in. As reported by the media there was unprecedented voter turnout in almost every state as at 8:00 PM polling stations closed and voting ceased. As the tallies began coming in GOP voters saw that President Trump was ahead in the polls and former VP Biden trailing pitifully as the curtain fell on a somber nation resigned to the fact that the popular vote had been cast.
As a new dawn appeared the nation awoke to a new reality that Biden was drastically far ahead of Trump and by end of the day of November 4th, had been declared by the media and others as the president-elect. High fives were everywhere as commentators and democrats began calling for President Trump to “accept the results” as the will of the people had spoken.
Over the next few days we began seeing “healing” and “come together” speeches from the office of the president-elect calling for national unity of purpose as the single most important man on the planet announced his agenda of a national mask mandate and closing the nation due to the pandemic of COVID-19 until a Biden inspired vaccine became available sometime in 2022? A major focus was The Biden Deal which would ban fossil fuels in America; reverse Trump tax cuts; raise taxes on the super wealthy; and reinstate the Iran Nuclear Arms Deal, work with China on battling the virus; rejoin the Paris Peace Accords and the World Trade Organization (reversing all that Trump has done over 4 years); stopping the wall and taking guns from registered gun owners to make America safer than ever before. There were no riots or wide scale looting as liberalism celebrated the dawn of a new era. It was the proverbial calm before the storm.
Then reality began to set in, a glaringly huge embarrassment was the fact that no president-elect existed at this point and there most certainly is no office of the president-elect and no official seal either.
Also as claims of voter and election fraud began to surface. Whistleblowers began detailing election related irregularities in precinct voting systems, US postal supervisors and ballot counting malpractices in various cities, counties and states across the nation, states controlled by Democratic Party politicians.
Then as the Trump campaign began demanding a constitutionally recognized recount by hand of election ballots in select contested state precincts the tide began to change and so did the mood of the ill called Democratic election victory. Latest predictions are that President Trump has exceeded the projected threshold of 270 EC delegates needed and that Biden has fallen way short.
Antifa began attacking Trump supporters in the Washington, DC area last night as families were heading home from a mostly peaceful MAGA rally. Threats have been announced of increased violence now that it is clear that Trump will not accept the initial results of a tainted election.
Well the election process is far from over as the popular vote is being looked at by election officials to determine if in fact election fraud has occurred and what is the true count of legal ballots according to provisions in the Constitution.
For all you legal scholars and historians you might want to relook at where we are in the voting process and what steps are required before the actual president-elect is determined and announced, not by the media or politically biased politicians, but according to this Congressional Research Service report dated October 22, 2020.
November 4-December 14, 2020: Counting Popular Votes and Filing Certificates of Ascertainment
Following election day, the states are to count and certify popular vote results according to their respective statutory and procedural requirements. When the states have completed their vote counts and ascertained the official results, the U.S. Code (3 U.S.C. §6) requires the state governors to prepare, “as soon as practicable,” documents known as Certificates of Ascertainment of the vote. The certificates must list the names of the electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received in the popular election results, also the names of all losing candidates for elector, and the number of votes they received. Certificates of Ascertainment, which are often signed by state governors, must carry the seal of the state. One copy is forwarded to the Archivist of the United States (the Archivist), while six duplicates of the Certificate of Ascertainment must be provided to the electors by December 14, the date on which they meet.
December 8, 2020: The “Safe Harbor” Deadline
The U.S. Code (3 U.S.C. §5) provides that if election results are contested in any state, and if the state, prior to election day, has enacted procedures to settle controversies or contests over electors and electoral votes, and if these procedures have been applied, and the results have been determined six days before the electors’ meetings, then these results are considered to be conclusive, and will apply in the counting of the electoral votes. This date, known as the “Safe Harbor” deadline, falls on December 8 in 2020. The governor of any state where there was a contest, and in which the contest was decided according to established state procedures, is required (3 U.S.C. §6) to send a certificate describing the form and manner by which the determination was made to the Archivist as soon as practicable.
December 14, 2020: Electors Vote in Their States
Monday after the second Wednesday in December of presidential election years is set (3 U.S.C. §7) as the date on which the electors meet and vote. In 2020, the meeting is on December 14. Electoral college delegations meet separately in their respective states and the District of Columbia at places designated by their state legislature. The electors vote by paper ballot, casting one ballot for President and one for Vice President. The electors count the results and then sign six certificates, each of which contains two lists, one of which includes the electoral votes for the President, the other, electoral votes for the Vice President, each of which includes the names of persons receiving votes and the number of votes cast for them. These are known as Certificates of the Vote, which the electors are required to sign. They then pair the six Certificates of Ascertainment provided by the state governors with the Certificates of the Vote, and sign, seal, and certify them (3 U.S.C. §§8-10). The six certificates are then distributed by registered mail as follows: (1) one certificate to the President of the U.S. Senate (the Vice President); (2) two certificates to the secretary of state (or equivalent officer) of the state in which the electors met; (3) two certificates to the Archivist; and (4) one certificate to the judge of the U.S. district court of the district in which the electors met (3 U.S.C. §11).
December 23, 2020: Certificates Must Be Delivered to the Designated Officials
Certificates of electoral vote results must be delivered to above mentioned officers by the fourth Wednesday in December, in 2020, by December 23 (3 U.S.C. §12).
Failure to Deliver Certificates by December 23
If the certificates from any state have not been delivered by December 23, 2020, the President of the Senate, or in their absence the Archivist, is required to request the secretary of state or equivalent officer in that state to send one of the copies they hold to the President of the Senate by registered mail (3 U.S.C. §12, 13). The Code also directs them to send a messenger to the judge of the U.S. district court in the state directing the judge to transmit the certificate they hold by “hand … to the seat of government.”
January 6, 2021: Joint Session of Congress to Count Electoral Votes and Declare Election Results
Meets On January 6, or another date set by law, the Senate and House of Representatives assemble at 1:00 p.m. in a joint session at the Capitol, in the House chamber, to count the electoral votes and declare the results (3 U.S.C. §15). The Vice President presides as President of the Senate. The Vice President opens the certificates and presents them to four tellers, two from each chamber. The tellers read and make a list of the returns. When the votes have been ascertained and counted, the tellers transmit them to the Vice President. If one of the tickets has received a majority of 270 or more electoral votes, the Vice President announces the results, which “shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President.” – Thomas H. Neale, Specialist in American National Government
This document was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). CRS serves as nonpartisan shared staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress. It operates solely at the behest of and under the direction of Congress. Information in a CRS Report should not be relied upon for purposes other than public understanding of information that has been provided by CRS to Members of Congress in connection with CRS’s institutional role. CRS Reports, as a work of the United States Government, are not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Any CRS Report may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without permission from CRS. However, as a CRS Report may include copyrighted images or material from a third party, you may need to obtain the permission of the copyright holder if you wish to copy or otherwise use copyrighted material.
Instead of reading false headlines in local or national media or on the internet and social media I suggest that you crack open a copy of the Constitution of the United States and take your cues directly from the Rule of Law in the US.
When the election process is followed the results should be abundantly clear and undisputable. The winner of a free and fair election is a win-win for America. On the other hand when election fraud is so blatant and in your face (nobody said crooks are smart) then prosecution and punishment are the appropriate remedy to discourage future nefarious activity from occurring again. I may not have all the answers (nobody does) but I am the Real Truckmaster!