The next important date that looms on the countries electoral calendar is Jan. 6 2021. That's when Congress will meet in a joint session to formally count the Electoral College votes.
The states have submitted their own electors, and the states count Joe Biden winning with 306 votes to 232 for Donald Trump. Now according to the process, Congress will count the votes as submitted by the states. The process works as follows:
According to federal law, Congress must meet Jan. 6 to open the sealed certificates from every state which contains a record of their electoral votes. The states votes are brought into the chamber in special mahogany boxes used for this specific occasion.
The two chambers get together and count the votes. The presiding officer opens and presents the certificates of the electoral votes in alphabetical order of the states that submitted. Each appointed member from the House and Senate of both parties, then read each certificate out loud and record and count the votes. At the end, the presiding member announces who has won the majority votes for both president and vice president.
Here is where it gets interesting….in the case of an objection:
After a teller reads the certificate from the state, any member can object to that state’s vote on any grounds they choose to. However, the presiding officer won’t listen to the objection unless it is in writing and signed by both a someone from the House and someone from the Senate.
If there is an objection that meets the criteria, then the joint session suspends, and the House and Senate retire to their own chambers, for a period of "not more than two hours," and members get up to five minutes to speak in favor or against the objection. For the objection to be sustained, both chambers must agree to it by a majority vote. If either side does not agree, the original electoral votes are counted with no changes made.
Some Republicans, including Representative Scott Perry from Pennsylvania and Matt Gaetz of Florida, have also indicated that they could support an objection. “All eyes are on Jan. 6,” Matt. Gaetz said on Fox News after the Supreme Court rejected Texas’ suit. “I suspect there will be a little bit of debate and discourse in the Congress as we go through the process of certifying the electors. We still think there is evidence that needs to be considered.” Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks has already said he would challenge Georgia and Pennsylvania's results.
What Is Mike Pence’s Role:
His job will be to officially oversee the joint session of the House and Senate that will officially count the Electoral College votes for president and vice president. Pence is in charge of preserving order, hearing objections, and announcing results.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert has argued that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is unconstitutional. Therefore, he claims, Vice President Pence is allowed by the 12th Amendment to reject 73 Biden-Harris electoral votes from five states. About a dozen Republican senators and many more House members also argue that Congress has this power. Democrats have argued that the 12th Amendment vests no power in the vice president or Congress to judge who won a state’s electoral votes when the authorized branches of the state’s government agree, on which electors won.
The 12th Amendment left intact the Constitution’s Electors Clause. As the Supreme Court’s justices wrote in Bush v. Gore (2000), under the Electors Clause, each state’s legislature by statute makes the exclusive “apportionment of responsibility” to state officials to “oversee election disputes” that decide which presidential ticket won the most votes in that state.
Mike Pence has stopped short of echoing allegations of election fraud. But on Saturday, his chief of staff Marc Short said Mr. Pence shared what he called "the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities". Mr. Pence "welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people". It seems Mike Pence has been walking a fine line and refusing to make a firm stance on either side.
Gohmert argues Pence can hand Trump a win by simply rejecting swing states choice of Democratic electors and instead choosing competing GOP electors.
What Is Going To Happen:
We know that already, numerous House Republicans have said they will object to the official electoral results from some or all of six states won by Biden including- Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. As many as a dozen Republican senators say they, too, will raise objections to one or more state results. Late Saturday night, Jan. 2 current White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, tweeted "We’re now at well over 100 House members and a dozen Senators ready to stand up for election integrity and object to certification. It’s time to fight back,” Meadows tweeted.
We don’t know what is going to happen but the country will be on pins and needles waiting for this process to play out.