Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President voters will meet in the United States on Monday to officially elect Joe Biden as the nation’s next president.
Monday is the statutory day for the electoral college meeting. In reality, voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia meet to cast their votes. The results will be sent to Washington and counted in a joint Congressional session on January 6th, which will be chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.
Voter votes attracted more attention than usual this year because President Donald Trump refused to allow the election and continued to raise unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.
Biden plans to address the nation Monday night after the voters vote. Trump, meanwhile, is sticking to his false claims that he won the election, but is also undermining Biden’s presidency before it begins. “No, I worry that the country has an illegitimate president, that’s why I worry. A president who has lost again and again,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News that was taped on Saturday.
After weeks of Republican litigation that was easily dismissed by the judges, Trump and Republican allies tried last week to convince the Supreme Court to overturn 62 votes for Biden in four states, which may have cast doubt on the outcome.
The judges denied the effort on Friday.
Biden won 306 votes to 232 votes for Trump. It takes 270 votes to be elected.
In 32 states and the District of Columbia, the law requires voters to vote for the referendum winner. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this ruling in July.
In any case, voters almost always vote for the state winner because they usually dedicate themselves to their political party. There is no reason to expect defects this year. Prominent voters include Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams and South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem.
The vote is decidedly low-tech, on paper. The voters cast one vote each for the President and the Vice-President.
The electoral college was the result of a compromise in the drafting of the constitution between those who supported the election of the president by referendum and those who refused to give the people the power to choose their leader.
Each state receives a number of voters equal to its total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus how many members the state has in the House of Representatives. Washington, D.C. has three votes on a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states give all of their electoral college votes to the referendum winner in their state.
The deal struck by the nation’s founders resulted in five elections in which the president failed to win the referendum. Trump was the most recent example in 2016.
Biden surpassed Trump this year with more than 7 million votes.
And then there is another step: initiation.