Electoral College Confirms Joe Biden As President-Elect

Julia Strasius, News/Design Editor

On Dec. 14, all 538 electors gathered in their capitols to cast their ballots, affirming Biden’s 306-232 win. Congress plans on counting votes on Jan. 6. to prepare for Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 

This year, electors in certain states had police escorts to the Capitol building due to threats of violence the reason why multiple offices in Michigan decided to close as well. 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, state legislators have their own methods for selecting electors and each state has electoral votes equal to the total of its congressional delegation. The two methods used most often include election by state party committee and state party convention. 

The population of the state determines the number of electors chosen. California has the most electors with 55, whereas the capital city, Washington D.C., only has three electors. 

The electors cast ballots individually and on paper for the president and vice-president. These votes get counted, followed by a certification of the vote and Certificates of Ascertainment, provided by the governors of the state. These certificates are sent to the president of the Senate, the secretary of the state in which the electors meet, an archivist and to the judge of the U.S. District Court, the district in which the electors meet.

Electors may not remain bound by the law to vote according to the state results, but if they do not, most states have laws in place that would nullify those votes. Since the founding of the electoral college, there have been 167 of these nullified votes, known as “votes of faithless electors.” However, there were no faithless electors this year. 

The electors, nominated by their state’s political parties, do not have the ability to be active US senators, members of Congress, or anyone holding an “office of trust or profit.”

Some electors may have held former positions of political office, such as Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.

The process to challenge votes made would start with an objection by a member of the house, joined by a member of the senate. The objections would require further debate. 

However, with Monday’s electoral vote over, Biden takes a big step closer to his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States.