Republican electors in four states said on Dec. 14 that they would cast their procedural votes for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the latest update contesting the results of the 2020 election.
Republican electors in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona all said they voted for Trump. It comes as their states formally appointed Democratic electors who voted for Democrat Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
In Michigan, two separate slates of electors were cast: 16 for Trump and 16 for Biden.
“Sending more than one slate of electors is not unheard of,” said Meshawn Maddock, Michigan Republican at-large national elector in an emailed release. “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.”
The Pennsylvania GOP cited the 1960 presidential election between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, who would become the eventual winner.
“We took this procedural vote to preserve any legal claims that may be preserved going forward,” said Pennsylvania Trump campaign chairman Bernie Comfort in a statement.
Arizona’s Republican presidential electors also voted for Trump and Pence, according to the state's Republican party.
The Electoral College votes are cast on Dec. 14 and counted on Jan. 6 during a Joint Session of Congress, when the House of Representatives and Senate meet.
"The certificates must list the names of the electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received in the popular election results, also the names of all losing candidates for elector, and the number of votes they received," according to the Congressional Research Service.
"Certificates of Ascertainment, which are often signed by state governors, must carry the seal of the state. One copy is forwarded to the Archivist of the United States, while six duplicates of the Certificate of Ascertainment must be provided to the electors by December 14, the date on which they meet."
White House adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News on Dec. 14 that alternate groups of electors were being chosen in several states, claiming that it would lead to Trump’s reelection.
“The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends,” referring to Inauguration Day.
Competing ElectorsStates with close contests between Trump and his rival Biden were expected to potentially produce competing slates of electors, one certified by the governor and the other by the legislature.
It is unclear if all of the Republican electors in the five states were formally certified. Either way, Congress is likely to end up with competing slates of electors come Jan. 6, when the two chambers are scheduled to count the votes. While a process exists to resolve disputes between duelling electors, it has never been tested in the courts.
Approving a set of electors would require the majority in both chambers. The balance of power in the Senate will be determined by the results of the two runoff elections in Georgia. Should Democrats win both seats, a 50-50 tie in the Senate would hand the tiebreaker vote to the vice president.
If lawmakers cannot agree on a set of electors, the country will find itself in uncharted territory, which may prompt intervention from the Supreme Court. If history is a guide, the state delegations in the House may have to pick a president. Republicans have the majority of delegations.