In the current reality show being acted out daily on the news, it seems that the election just won’t end. Although the election has been called for Joe Biden as most elections have been called in the past, the current administration is refusing concession. Contrary to what people think, there still is a process ongoing with making the election outcome official. The United States Electoral College continues their work in completing the election. A candidate’s concession or failure to make a concession speech does not impact the duties and responsibilities related to the Electoral College system.
So what’s next in the process?
The next big date on the election calendar is December 14th. This is when the electors meet in their state capitals to officially pledge their votes. I wouldn’t count on a smooth process for this procedure either. This has been 2020 and anything could happen. Electorates are supposed to be bound to vote for candidate who received the most votes. Essentially, this is the candidate with the most popular votes in each state. So can electors refuse or change their votes? Yes, it has happened and these are called “faithless electors”.
In 2016 there were 10 faithless electors.
- In Washington, Democratic Party electors gave three presidential votes to Colin Powell and one to Faith Spotted Eagle and these electors cast vice-presidential votes for Elizabeth Warren, Maria Cantwell, Susan Collins, and Winona LaDuke.
- In Hawaii, Bernie Sanders received one presidential vote and Elizabeth Warren received one vice-presidential vote.
- In Texas, Christopher Suprun voted for John Kasich for president and another elector voted for Ron Paul, giving each one presidential vote. Suprun also voted for Carly Fiorina as vice president while the other elector voted for Mike Pence as pledged.
In addition, three other electors attempted to vote against their pledges but had their votes invalidated:
- In Colorado, Kasich received one vote for president, which was invalidated, and the elector was replaced by one who cast a vote for Clinton.
- In Maine, a Democratic Party elector voted for Bernie Sanders but was forced to cast a vote for Clinton.
- In Minnesota, another Democratic Party elector tried to do the same but was replaced by one who cast a vote for Clinton. The same Minnesota elector voted for Tulsi Gabbard for vice president but had that vote invalidated and given to Tim Kaine.
Faithless electors have never changed the outcome of a Presidential election.
So, if you are hoping for the drama of Election 2020 to be over, mark your calendars for December 14th.
Click here if you want to read more about the Electoral College and the electoral process.