Electors to Formalize US Elections Results on Dec. 14

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US President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Amid allegations of electoral fraud in the just-ended US presidential election, as claimed by President Donald Trump, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, and all the six battleground states have certified their electoral votes in favor of Joe Biden.

President Trump, after the November 3, 2020 elections, issued lawsuits against Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and other states to advance accusations and legal theories, some based upon allegations of fraud or complaints of minor ballot processing access, to prevent state officials from certifying the popular vote results.

The President is expected to turn power over on January 20, 2021.

He has, however, requested a recount to verify the accuracy of the original results. The President and his supporters have filed a number of legal challenges over the election, but most have been dismissed.

After the recount process, according to CNN, Pennsylvania and Nevada on Tuesday certified their 2020, general election results, formally awarding a combined 26 electoral votes from two key battleground states to President-elect Biden.

North Carolina’s election board also certified the state’s presidential vote totals on Tuesday, awarding the state’s 15 electoral votes to President Donald Trump.

The United States’ Election results are finalized through processes called canvassing and certification. Canvassing refers to how state and local officials confirm the validity of ballots cast in an election, while Certification is the process authorities used to formalize the election results based on the canvass. However, some states, localities, and commentators use the terms interchangeably to describe the entire process of counting ballots and formalizing results.

The certification deadline in six states is within one week of the election; in 27 states, the deadline is between November 10 and November 30; 14 states and the District of Columbia, is December; while Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Tennessee do not have fixed deadlines for results certification.

Before President Trump’s lawsuits against the results, the Democratic candidate was in the lead with 306 votes to 232 under the Electoral College system that is used to pick US presidents.

A candidate needs a total number of 270 to win the U.S presidency. Electors will meet in their respective states to cast their ballots for president and vice president on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. That would be on 14 December.

According to an elections results timeline published by CNBC, in every state except Nebraska and Maine, electors vote on a “winner takes all” basis, meaning whichever candidate wins the state’s presidential race receives all of the state’s electoral votes.

Electors send certificates of their vote to various officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, serving as president of the Senate.

Meanwhile, President Trump has decided to peacefully turn over power if Biden if he wins the electoral collages, which means the president-elect will receive a top security briefing and access officials and millions of dollars in funds as he prepares to take over.

Before the elections, during the Foreign Press Center Virtual Reporting Tour briefing, Margie Omero, in a joint conversation with Jon McHenry, told participating journalists there are 13 states in the US that have voted for both the Democratic Nominee and a Republican Nominee at least once since 2000.

According to her, Nevada has 6 electoral votes, Colorado 9 and New Mexico 5. “Moving to the Midwest, you see Iowa with 6, Wisconsin with 10, Michigan with 16, Pennsylvania with 20. Those last three, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are important because President Trump won them the last time.”

She said it is important to look at the polling in some of these states adding, “But it can vary from week to week. It can vary from poll to poll, frankly, if there was a poll that came out tomorrow that said that President Trump was within five points in California, that would not lead me to say that that is a battleground state. That would lead me to say that it is a bad poll. So typically, what we are going to do, especially as we start at the beginning of the year, and we do not have a lot of polling to look at, we are going to look at historical performance.”

 Dr. Doug Schwartz, Ph.D. Director and Vice President, Quinnipiac University Poll, discussing Polling and Analytics in a separate session prior to the election, said Biden has led Trump in every national poll we have done this year by between seven and 11 percentage points, with one exception.

He said in the most recent national poll conducted at the end of September, Biden took the lead by 10 percentage points indicating that “one thing that has been so remarkable about this race is that we have had so many huge events, yet the race has remained very stable.”

Schwartz continued: “We have had an impeachment of the President, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, racial justice protests, and the contentious Supreme Court nomination. And yet the Biden lead has been consistent.

“Maybe we should not be surprised that few voters are shifting because, throughout President Trump’s presidency, the percentage of voters approving of the job he has been doing has barely moved, hovering around 40% for his entire presidency. He is the only president in the era of modern polling never to top 50% approval,” he said.

Schwartz said the methodology of a poll is one of the most important indicators of whether that poll will be accurate and therefore worth paying attention to. According to him, the first thing is whether or not the poll is transparent about its methods.

“There are so many important decisions that pollsters make, from the wording and order of questions, to field period and sample size, as well as how they reach their sample. Each of these things can have a big impact on the results of a poll and pollsters that do not share this information typically have something to hide. The other two most important pieces of information about a poll’s methodology are whether they use live interviewers and whether they call cell phones,” he said.

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