A joint session of Congress will convene today to present the electoral votes submitted by each state. After their tabulation, Vice President Mike Pence will ceremonially declare President-Elect Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election.
However, it technically could take in excess of 12 hours to get to that point, given the number of planned objections and how they are required by law to be considered.
You can find a livestream of the proceedings above.
Under federal law, Congress must meet on Jan. 6, at 1 pm ET, to open the sealed certificates from each state that contain a record of their electoral votes, as representatives of both parties in both chambers read the results aloud. Once the ongoing tally is completed, Pence, as president of the Senate, declares the winner.
But more than a dozen Republican senators, led by Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, have announced their intention to object to certain states’ reporting of Biden wins — namely, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Said complainants plan to echo President Donald Trump’s charges of widespread fraud, which have been refuted by a range of election officials as well as AG William Barr (ahead of his recent resignation).
By law, each objection to an individual state’s electoral vote count will trigger a suspension of the joint session, so that each chamber can split away to discuss (for up to two hours per objection). An objection can only be sustained by a simple majority vote.
Though President Trump recently tweeted, “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors” independent of the aforementioned deliberations, the U.S. Constitution affords the VP no such power.