WASHINGTON — QUESTION:
If both chambers of Congress agree to an objection on a state's electoral votes that voted for Joe Biden, would those electoral votes then go to President Trump?
- Aseem Mulji- legal counsel- Campaign Legal Center
- Saikrishna (Sai) Prakash- James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law- University of Virginia School of Law
- 3 U.S. Code § 15 - Counting electoral votes in Congress
Congress is about to count the electoral votes certified by each state back in December on January 6, around 1 p.m. EST. Several lawmakers have said they plan to object to some of those slates of electors.
We're Verifying: If both chambers of Congress object to votes for Biden, do the electoral votes go to President Trump?
Our Verify sources are Aseem Mulji, a legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center and Sai Prakash, a constitutional law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, as well as the federal statute about counting electoral votes.
For an objection to pass, a senator and house representative must put it in writing. Then the two chambers would split off to debate the objection and vote. For an objection to be accepted, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have to approve it.
So hypothetically, if an objection passes both chambers, where do the votes go?
"Rejection means that that state just won't be counted and every single person in that state will basically be disenfranchised by both houses, deciding not to count their electoral votes," Mulji said.
Prakash agrees that it’s just a matter of whether or not the votes are counted.
“If the governor certifies one slate, then they are counted unless again both chambers think there’s something amiss and say they should not be counted," Prakash said.
Our Verify researchers also read through the federal statute about counting electoral votes, and nowhere does it say that if an objection succeeds, the opponent would get the votes.
So we can Verify, no, if objections pass, President Trump wouldn’t get those votes.
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