Republican electors from Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada met on Dec. 14 to cast their state votes as required by election procedures. They separately announced that they cast their votes for President Trump and Vice President Pence.
While mainstream media and most of the conservative media reported the news that Democratic candidate Joe Biden had been declared the winner—a serious omission not to mention that the legislatures, who have the authority to designate the winner of the election, cast their votes for Trump—generated much confusion.
In addition to these four states, Michigan submitted two separate slates of electors: 16 votes for Trump and 16 for Democrat Biden.
Michigan Republicans explained that if Trump’s legal team’s litigation succeeds in proving that there was election fraud, then the 16 votes will be certified for President Trump. Otherwise, Biden would keep those votes.
“Sending more than one slate of electors is not unheard of,” said Meshawn Maddock, Michigan Republican at-large national elector, in an emailed. “It’s our duty to the people of Michigan and to the U.S. Constitution to send another slate of electors if the election is in controversy or dispute—and clearly it is.”
Georgia’s Republican electors said their decision to send their votes for Trump allows legal challenges from the president to remain open until the last possible moment.
“Had we not [met] today and cast our votes, the President’s pending election contest would have been effectively mooted. Our action today preserves his rights under Georgia law,” said David Shafer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.
Of the six states where President Trump filed lawsuits for election rigging, these five states’ legislatures have awarded President Trump their votes, giving him 69 votes that would bring President Trump’s total to 301 votes for re-election as president of the United States.
But the picture is not so simple.
Because the elections in these states were certified by their governors, both Republican electors and governors will send their votes to Congress so that the count can be done in both chambers on Jan. 6, 2021.
Because there are now two different slates of electors, one certified by the governors and one by each legislature, both the House of Representatives and the Senate will have to vote to decide who is the winner.
According to the procedure, the House of Representatives will choose the president and the Senate the vice president.
Currently, Republicans have the majority of state delegations, which is not the same as a majority of seats, so if the vote were to take place in the House, Trump could be re-elected, president.
In the worst-case scenario, in the Senate, if the Democrats win the runoff in Georgia, where two seats are contested, and the balance of power is 50-50, Pence as Senate president will decide the winner.
There are precedents in the United States for all these scenarios, such as the elections between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
Nixon was declared the winner by a narrow margin. However, Kennedy disputed the results, and the Hawaii Legislature cast its vote for Kennedy, who was finally declared president after a recount in the state gave him the state votes.
If the vote in Congress does not decide the winners for some reason, then the Supreme Court would have to intervene, and at this point, there is no precedent.