2020 U.S. presidential election
The count of the Electoral College ballots during a joint session of the United States Congress, pursuant to the Electoral Count Act, on January 6–7, 2021, was the final step to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election over incumbent President Donald Trump.
Unlike previous ballot counts, the event drew attention because of the efforts of Trump and his allies to overturn the election. A group of legislators from Trump's Republican Party announced they would formally object to counting Biden's votes in swing states, while Trump unsuccessfully sought to have Vice President Mike Pence use his presiding role over the count to change the outcome. The joint session adjourned twice to debate objections against the votes won by Biden in Arizona and Pennsylvania; both objections were defeated in the House and Senate, with only six Republican senators supporting the former and seven supporting the latter. Republican representatives also raised objections against votes for Biden from Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin, but these objections failed because they were not co-signed by a senator.
Amid the debate on Arizona's votes, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building, causing the count to be temporarily halted until officials could safely return to their chambers. The counting resumed in the evening after the Capitol was secured and concluded by the following morning.
The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president. Each state appoints electors according to its legislature, equal in number to its congressional delegation (senators and representatives). Federal office holders cannot be electors. Of the current 538 electors, an absolute majority of 270 or more electoral votes is required to elect the president and vice president. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority there, a contingent election is held by the United States House of Representatives to elect the president, and by the United States Senate to elect the vice president.
Each state and the District of Columbia produces two documents to be forwarded to Congress, a certificate of ascertainment and a certificate of vote. A certificate of ascertainment is an official document that identifies the state's appointed College electors and the tally of the final popular vote count for each candidate in that state U.S.C. §§ 6–14 and the Electoral Count Act. Within the United States' electoral system, the certificates "[represent] a crucial link between the popular vote and votes cast by electors". The certificates must bear the state seal and the governor's signature. Staff from the Office of the Federal Register ensure that each certificate contains all legally required information. When each state's appointed electors meet to vote (on the first Monday after the second Wednesday of December), they sign and record their vote on a certificate of vote, which are then paired with the certificate of ascertainment, which together are sent to be opened and counted by congress.in a presidential election; the certificate of ascertainment is submitted after an election by the governor of each state to the archivist of the United States and others, in accordance with 3
The 12th Amendment mandates Congress assemble in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winners of the election. 6 in the calendar year immediately following the meetings of the presidential electors. Since the 20th Amendment, the newly elected joint Congress declares the winner of the election; all elections before 1936 were determined by the outgoing Congress.The Electoral Count Act, a federal law passed in 1887, further established specific procedures for the counting of the electoral votes by the joint Congress. The session is ordinarily required to take place on January
A state's certificate of vote can be rejected only if both Houses of Congress vote to accept the objection via a simple majority,meaning the votes from the State in question are not counted. Individual votes can also be rejected, and are also not counted. If there are no objections or all objections are overruled, the presiding officer simply includes a state's votes, as declared in the certificate of vote, in the official tally. After the certificates from all states are read and the respective votes are counted, the presiding officer simply announces the final state of the vote. This announcement concludes the joint session and formalizes the recognition of the president-elect and of the vice president-elect. The senators then depart from the House chamber. The final tally is printed in the Senate and House journals.
President Trump, his campaign, and his supporters engaged in numerous attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 United States presidential election.
On December 28, 2020, Republican U.S. Representative Louis Gohmert of Texas and the slate of Republican presidential electors for Arizona filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Vice President Mike Pence, seeking to force him to decide the election outcome.Gohmert argued that the Electoral Count Act of 1887 was unconstitutional, that the Constitution gave Vice President Pence the "sole" power to decide the election outcome, and that Pence had the power to "count elector votes certified by a state's executive", select "a competing slate of duly qualified electors," or "ignore all electors from a certain state." On January 1, 2021, U.S. District Judge Jeremy Kernodle dismissed the suit for lack of standing. The next day, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed Gohmert's appeal in a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel.
President Trump had repeatedly raised with his vice president the notion he could delay or obstruct the Electoral College count set to occur in Congress on January 6 and was "confused" on why Vice-President Pence could not unilaterally reject electoral votes and overturn the results of the election.Trump had argued that instead of simply acting in his constitutionally prescribed role, Pence could delay the count beyond January 6 and ultimately force the question of who won the election to either the House of Representatives or the Supreme Court. On January 5, Pence told Trump that he did not have the authority to block counting of votes for President-elect Joe Biden's win in the joint session of Congress to count electoral votes.
In December 2020, several Republican members of the House led by Representative Mo Brooks of Alabamaas well as Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, declared that they would formally object to the counting of the electoral votes of five swing states won by Biden during the January 6, 2021, joint session. The objections would then trigger votes from both houses. The last time an objection was successfully filed was after the 2004 presidential election, when Senator Barbara Boxer of California joined Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio in filing a congressional objection to the certification of Ohio's Electoral College votes due to alleged irregularities. The Senate voted the objection down 1–74; the House voted the objection down 31–267. At least 140 House Republicans reportedly planned to vote against the 2020 counting of electoral votes, despite the lack of any credible allegation of an irregularity that would have affected the election, and the allegations' rejections by courts, election officials, the Electoral College, and others, and despite the fact that almost all of the Republican objectors had "just won elections in the very same balloting they are now claiming was fraudulently administered."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who on December 15 acknowledged Biden's victory the day after the Electoral College vote, privately urged his Republican Senate colleagues not to join efforts by some House Republicans to challenge the vote count,but was unable to persuade Hawley not to lodge an objection. Hawley used his objection stance in fundraising emails. Twelve additional Republican Senators and Senators-elect (Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Bill Hagerty, Tommy Tuberville, and Kelly Loeffler) eventually announced that they would join Hawley's challenge, while acknowledging that it would not succeed.
On January 2, 2021, Vice President Pence expressed support for the attempt to overturn Biden's victory.Neither Pence nor the senators planning to object made any specific allegation of fraud; rather, they vaguely suggested that some wrongdoing might have taken place. Other Senate Republicans were noncommittal or opposed to the attempt to subvert the election results.
A spokesperson for President-elect Biden called the effort a publicity stunt that would fail,a statement echoed by Senator Amy Klobuchar, the top Democrat of the committee with jurisdiction over federal elections. A bipartisan group of senators condemned the scheme to undo the election for Trump; Joe Manchin (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) said, "The 2020 election is over. All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted. At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans' confidence in the already determined election results." In a separate statement, Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, denounced his Republican colleagues who have sought to overturn the election results, terming them "the institutional arsonist members of Congress" and the submission of objection to counting the electoral votes as a "dangerous ploy" by Republican members of Congress who, in seeking "a quick way to tap into the president's populist base", were pointing "a loaded gun at the heart of legitimate self-government." Other prominent Republicans who spoke out against attempts to subvert the election results included Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House.
Objections to the electoral votes had virtually no chance of success, as Democrats had a majority in the House of Representatives.Although the Senate had a Republican majority, there was no committed majority for overturning the election results. Trevor Potter, a Republican former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and the president of the Campaign Legal Center, wrote that the counting joint session "gives Trump's die-hard supporters in Congress an opportunity to again provide more disinformation about the election on national television." After Senator John Thune, the second highest-ranking Senate Republican, said that the challenge to the election results would fail "like a shot dog" in the Senate, Trump attacked him on Twitter.
In December, Trump repeatedly encouraged his supporters to protest in Washington, D.C. on January 6 in support of his campaign to overturn the election results,appealing his supporters to "Be there, will be wild!" The Washington Post editorial board criticized Trump for urging street protests, referring to previous violence by some Trump supporters at two earlier rallies and his earlier statement during a presidential debate telling the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by." Multiple groups of "die-hard" Trump supporters are staging rallies in D.C. on that day: Women for America First; the Eighty Percent Coalition (also at Freedom Plaza); the group's name refers to the approximately 80% of Trump voters who do not accept the legitimacy of Biden's win); and "The Silent Majority" (a group organized by a South Carolina conservative activist). George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone, ardent allies of Trump, will headline some of the events. In addition to the formally organized events, the Proud Boys, other far-right groups, and white supremacists vowed to descend on Washington on January 6, with some threatening violence and pledging to carry weapons. Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio said that his followers would "be incognito" and "spread across downtown DC in smaller teams." On January 4, Tarrio was arrested by D.C. police on misdemeanor and felony charges.
On January 10th, a number of companies (including the financial company Morgan Stanley and the hotel chain Marriott, which each have their own PAC) announced they would cease their political contributions to members of Congress who had voted against certifying the Electoral College results.
The joint session of Congress met at 1 pm EST to count the results of the Electoral College. Prior to the vote, Pence released a letter to Congress which denied the assertion that Pence, as the presiding officer of the count, had "unilateral authority" to overturn any state results. (See also Gohmert v. Pence .)
The results from each state were opened and read one at a time, in alphabetical order. The results of Alabama and Alaska were read without objection. The results of Arizona were then objected to by Paul Gosar (AZ-4) and Ted Cruz (TX). Because of the objection, the joint session adjourned at 1:15 pm to allow each chamber to debate and vote on the objection.
During the debate of Arizona's votes, Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol at approximately 2:15 pm. and members of the House of Representatives and Senate were promptly evacuated from the Capitol by Capitol Police, and Congress was placed under lockdown. p.m., the Sergeant-at-Arms announced that the Capitol building had been secured. Congress then reconvened at 8 pm and politicians from both parties condemned both Trump and the rioters' failed insurrection.The District of Columbia National Guard, as well as the National Guards and state police of the neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland, were activated within the hour. At approximately 5:40
Before the session resumed, at 7.00 pm Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, left a voice message to Senator Mike Lee, but which was intended for Senator Tommy Tuberville. Lee made the message public, in which Giuliani said: "I know they're reconvening at 8 tonight, but it ... the only strategy we can follow is to object to numerous states and raise issues so that we get ourselves into tomorrow – ideally until the end of tomorrow."The legal or tactical purpose of the attempted delay is not clear; but may have been to form the basis of another legal challenge because the certification was not finalised on the 6th. Senator Tuberville was not aware of the message intended for him until after it became public. How many other members of Congress received similar calls is not known.
|Senate rejects Arizona objection 93-6. Session 8pm Jan 6th, C-SPAN|
Debate on the objection to Arizona's electoral votes resumed at 8.00 pm, and both chambers spent some time condemning the storming of the Capitol. The Senate then voted to reject the objection by 6–93 at 10:10 pm,and was followed by the House rejection at 11:08 pm. The joint session resumed again shortly afterwards where Pence requested the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House to report the actions of both, with the written objection being formally rejected, allowing the session to resume for the rest of the states. Objections to the electoral votes of Georgia, Michigan and Nevada were raised by Republican members of the House, but were not sustained because no senator joined the objection. In the case of Georgia, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R–GA) had withdrawn her objection after the unrest. After the failed objection to Michigan's electoral votes, the outstanding planned objections to Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin totaling 36 votes were already not sufficient to deny the Biden/Harris ticket the 270 votes needed to win. Representative Jake LaTurner was notified of his positive diagnosis with COVID after the vote on Arizona and went into isolation, missing the Pennsylvania vote.
The next state objected to was Pennsylvania where Scott Perry (PA-10) and Josh Hawley (MO) objected to the results, and the joint session adjourned at 12:15 am. [ citation needed ]The Senate held no further debate and within minutes the Senate rejected the objection by a 7–92 vote. The House held a debate where there was a single instance of disruption during a speech by Conor Lamb (PA-17). An objection by Morgan Griffith (VA-9) to Lamb's words was denied over timeliness, during which Andy Harris (MD-1) and Colin Allred (TX-32) began arguing with each other and ended up confronting each other. The confrontation was broken up and Lamb's speech continued after the disruption. After further debate, the House voted to reject the objection at 3:08 am. At the time of the objection, with the Democrats' electoral count standing at 244 votes, the 32 electoral votes from four outstanding Democratic states without a planned objection (Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington) were already enough to put them at 276 and therefore above the 270 votes needed to win, even without the electoral votes from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The joint session resumed once again at 3:25 am,with the Secretary and the Clerk reporting the results of the vote, formally rejecting the second written objection. The session resumed the tallying of the results. At 3:33 am, the electoral votes of Vermont were certified, putting the Biden/Harris ticket over the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency and vice presidency. The final objection was to Wisconsin, but it failed because no senator joined the objection. The joint session was dissolved by Pence at 3:44 am.
Republican Congressman Peter Meijer said that several of his Republican colleagues in the House would have voted to certify the votes, but did not out of fear for the safety of their families,and that at least one specifically voted to overturn Biden's victory against their conscience because they were shaken by the mob attack that day.
|Objection raised by||Vote||Outcome|
|Arizona||11||Biden/Harris||Paul Gosar (R–AZ-4)||Ted Cruz (R–TX)||121–303||6–93||Objection defeated|
|District of Columbia||3||Biden/Harris||None||N/A||No objection|
|Georgia||16||Biden/Harris||Jody Hice (R–GA-10)||None||N/A||Objection not debated|
|Maine||4||3 for Biden/Harris|
1 for Trump/Pence
|Michigan||16||Biden/Harris|| Marjorie Taylor Greene |
|None||N/A||Objection not debated|
|Nebraska||5||4 for Trump/Pence|
1 for Biden/Harris
|Nevada||6||Biden/Harris||Mo Brooks (R–AL-5)||None||N/A||Objection not debated|
|New Hampshire||4||Biden/Harris||None||N/A||No objection|
|New Jersey||14||Biden/Harris||None||N/A||No objection|
|New Mexico||5||Biden/Harris||None||N/A||No objection|
|New York||29||Biden/Harris||None||N/A||No objection|
|North Carolina||15||Trump/Pence||None||N/A||No objection|
|North Dakota||3||Trump/Pence||None||N/A||No objection|
|Pennsylvania||20||Biden/Harris||Scott Perry (R–PA-10)||Josh Hawley (R–MO)||138–282||7–92||Objection defeated|
|Rhode Island||4||Biden/Harris||None||N/A||No objection|
|South Carolina||9||Trump/Pence||None||N/A||No objection|
|South Dakota||3||Trump/Pence||None||N/A||No objection|
|West Virginia||5||Trump/Pence||None||N/A||No objection|
|Wisconsin||10||Biden/Harris||Louie Gohmert (R–TX-1)||None||N/A||Objection not debated|
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Not voting|
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Not voting|
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Not voting|
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Not voting|
Louis Buller Gohmert Jr. is an American attorney and former judge currently serving as the U.S. Representative from Texas's 1st congressional district since 2005. Gohmert is a member of the Republican Party and is part of the Tea Party movement. In January 2015, he unsuccessfully challenged John Boehner for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives. Gohmert was one of the 139 representatives who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 US presidential election in Congress on January 7, 2021, the day after the storming of the US Capitol.
A joint session of the United States Congress is a gathering of members of the two chambers of the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Joint sessions can be held on any special occasion, but are required to be held when the president delivers a State of the Union address, when they gather to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College following a presidential election, or when they convene on the occasion of a presidential inauguration. A joint meeting is a ceremonial or formal occasion and does not perform any legislative function, and no resolution is proposed nor vote taken.
The 117th United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C., on January 3, 2021, during the final weeks of Donald Trump's presidency, and will end on January 3, 2023. It will meet during the first two years of Joe Biden's presidency.
The 2020 United States presidential election was the 59th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 3. The Democratic Party ticket of former vice president Joe Biden and incumbent U.S. senator from California Kamala Harris defeated the Republican Party ticket of incumbent president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence. Trump became the first U.S. president since George H. W. Bush in 1992 and the eleventh incumbent president in the country's history to lose a bid for a second term. Biden's 51.3% was the largest percentage of the popular vote won by any challenger to an incumbent president since 1932. The election saw the highest voter turnout since 1900, with each of the two main tickets receiving more than 74 million votes, surpassing Barack Obama's record of 69.5 million votes from 2008. Biden received more than 81 million votes, the most votes ever cast for a candidate in a U.S. presidential election.
Gregory Francis Murphy is an American urologist and politician who is a member of the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District since 2019. He formerly served as a Republican Representative in the North Carolina General Assembly from 2015 to 2019.
Jeremy Daniel Kernodle is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Events in 2021 pertaining to politics and government in the United States.
Events for the year 2021 in the United States.
The Electoral Count Act of 1887 is a United States federal law adding to procedures set out in the Constitution of the United States for the counting of electoral votes following a presidential election. The Act was enacted by Congress in 1887, ten years after the disputed 1876 presidential election, in which several states submitted competing slates of electors and a divided Congress was unable to resolve the deadlock for weeks. Close elections in 1880 and 1884 followed, and again raised the possibility that with no formally established counting procedure in place partisans in Congress might use the counting process to force a desired result.
The 2020–21 United States election protests are an ongoing series of protests across multiple cities in the United States following the 2020 United States presidential election between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. The election was held on November 3, 2020. Biden won the election, receiving 81.3 million votes (51.3%) to Trump's 74.2 million (46.9%) and winning the Electoral College by 306 to 232. Biden's victory became clear on November 7, after the ballots had been tabulated. The Electoral College voted on December 14, in accordance with the law, formalizing Biden's victory.
Members of the US Republican Party have reacted differently to Republican President Donald Trump's false claims about the 2020 United States presidential election, with few publicly denouncing them and many publicly supporting them, while many others remained silent. Trump falsely claimed to have won the election, and made many false and unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. By December 11, 126 out of 196 Republican members of the House backed a lawsuit filed in the United States Supreme Court supported by nineteen Republican state attorneys general seeking to subvert the election and overturn the election results. Sixty-eight percent of respondents who identified as Republicans in a Fox News poll said they believed the election was stolen from Trump. A December 2020 poll showed 77% of Republicans believe widespread fraud occurred during the election. 35% of independent voters also said they believe widespread voter fraud took place.
After the 2020 United States presidential election, the campaign for incumbent President Donald Trump and others filed and lost over 60 lawsuits contesting election processes, vote counting, and the vote certification process in multiple states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
After the 2020 United States presidential election in which challenger Joe Biden prevailed, incumbent Donald Trump, as well as his presidential campaign and his proxies, pursued an aggressive, unprecedented effort to deny and overturn the results. The attempts to overturn the election have been described by some as an attempted coup d'état.
The following is a timeline of major events before, during, and after the 2020 United States presidential election, the 59th quadrennial United States presidential election, from November 2020 to January 2021. For prior events, see Timeline of the 2020 United States presidential election (2017–2019) and Timeline of the 2020 United States presidential election.
The storming of the United States Capitol was a riot and violent attack against the 117th United States Congress on January 6, 2021, carried out by a mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump in an attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. After attending a Trump rally, thousands of his supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was beginning the Electoral College vote count. Many of the crowd breached police perimeters and stormed the building in an attempt to prevent the formalization of President-elect Joe Biden's election victory. These rioters occupied, vandalized, and looted parts of the building for several hours. The riot led to the evacuation and lockdown of the Capitol, and five deaths.
The second impeachment of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, occurred on January 13, 2021, one week before his term was due to expire. Trump's impeachment by the House of Representatives came after his attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election; the adopted article of "incitement of insurrection" cited his January 2 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and alleged that Trump incited the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6. He is the only U.S. president and the only holder of any federal office to have been impeached twice, having been previously impeached in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Tyranny of Big Tech is an unpublished book written by Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri. The book argues big tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, represent the gravest threat to American liberty since the monopolies of the Gilded Age. Hawley attempts to propose a democratic, hopeful path forward via his own experience online. The book was originally set to release on June 21, 2021. However, amid the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6 and Hawley's rejection of electoral votes in the 2020 United States presidential election, publishing company Simon & Schuster announced they would no longer publish Hawley's book.
The following article is a broad timeline of the course of events surrounding the storming of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, by rioters supporting United States President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. Pro-Trump rioters stormed the United States Capitol after assembling on the Ellipse of the Capitol complex for the "Save America March".
Various news media and media personalities, former and current federal and state officials, and corporations in the United States gave their reactions to the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol on January 6.
The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.