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This 150-Year-Old Act Is the Secret Behind Chaos of the 2020 Election | Facts Matter

Exactly 742 days ago, Vice President Mike Pence, while standing before a joint session of Congress, accepted the Electoral College votes for the 2020 election, and in so doing, formalized Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.

At the time, both President Trump and a large contingent of Republicans in general were very opposed to that decision because they believed that Pence actually had the authority to decide whether or not to accept the officially certified votes.

On the surface, it just means that the vice president, who is also the president of the Senate, is the one to open the votes that come in from the electoral college delegates in each state. But what happens if a state sends in more than one slate of electors? Well, the answer to that lies in the Electoral Count Act.

This particular law was put into place following the 1876 presidential election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Sam Tilden. What happened in that race (similar to the race in 2020) was that four states—Oregon, Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina—submitted two slates of electors to Washington, D.C. Basically, there were disputes between the two parties over who had actually won the race, and so, they sent in two slates of electors.


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