US Election 2020: when do states certify their election results?
Biden has been named President-elect but Trump continues to contest the result. What is the deadline for states to confirm their Electoral College votes by?
Ten days have now passed since Election Day 2020 and things certainly seem to be taking a bit longer than usual. President-elect Joe Biden’s victory was not called until last Saturday, four days after the polls closed, and there are still two states that have not yet been called for either candidate.
President Trump has refused to concede the election, filing a number of baseless lawsuits in battleground states and demanding recounts where possible. However these tactics will only stave off the inevitable for so long, as there is a strict process to be followed after an American presidential election. The votes cast by individual Americans are counted and certified before each state officially allocates its Electoral College votes.
In 2000, 537 votes in Florida swung the Electoral College. This year, Biden leads Trump by tens of thousands of votes across multiple key states. Recounts and hollow fraud claims are very, very unlikely to change that. https://t.co/HCQ0WCDTnf— NPR (@NPR) November 13, 2020
What are the certification deadlines in each state?
There is no nationwide deadline for the election results to be certified and different states will submit theirs on different dates. Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Tennessee do not have a fixed certification deadline written into state law, but here’s when the other states will certify their election results:
November 5 - Delaware
November 10 - Oklahoma, Louisiana, South Dakota, Vermont
November 11 - South Carolina, Wyoming
November 13 - Mississippi
November 16 - Virginia
November 17 - Florida
November 18 – Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts
November 20 – Georgia, North Dakota
November 23 – Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah
November 24 - District of Columbia, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio
November 25 – Alabama, Alaska
November 30 – Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska
December 1 – Kansas, Nevada, Wisconsin
December 3 – Connecticut, Oregon, Texas, Washington, West Virginia
December 4 – Illinois
December 7 - New York
December 8 – Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey
December 11 – California
Could states miss this deadlines?
As the certification dates are created by the states themselves there is, in theory, nothing stopping them from missing their own deadlines. If that were to happen they would risk forcing Congress to decide whether a slate of electors in legitimate. This opens up the possibility that Republican-led state Senates could send Trump electors, in spite of how the state actually voted.
Republicans are increasingly pointing to a December deadline as they give Trump time and space to exhaust his legal challenges. That's when the states face a deadline to certify results and a Dec. 14 deadline for the Electoral College to cast its votes. https://t.co/Dri87GHCmH— FOX 7 Austin (@fox7austin) November 11, 2020
However this tactic would be seen as grossly undemocratic and has been roundly dismissed by Republicans, with Georgia Representative Scot Turner stating that the Electoral College vote should reflect the state’s popular vote: “Those who believe in the rule of law do not change the rules in the middle of an election because the outcome is undesirable.”
The Electoral College Votes will be cast and counted on 14 December, which must then be delivered to Vice President Mike Pence, in his capacity as Senate president, by 23 December. When the new Congress is sworn in on 6 January one of their first tasks will be to officially count the vote and Pence will declare the winner. On 20 January 2021, President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States
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