By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
November 12, 2020
A Politico/Morning Consult poll reports that 70 percent of Republicans are saying that they don’t believe Joe Biden won the election fair and square. However, 96 percent of Democrats surveyed said they think that he did. The circumstances reflect a deeply divided nation over who should lead the country.
Although the news media has declared Biden the President-Elect by their best projections, the fact remains that contested battleground states are still in limbo. President Trump has filed numerous lawsuits of voter fraud in these key states, which may or may not change the outcome. Counts and recounts are either underway or planned. None of the results are official until the states have completed their work and certify their results by required deadlines.
“This is a mess,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, “I know that people want this to be over, but it doesn’t look like it will be for quite a while.”
Creech added, “I think it’s going to drag out for some time, and Americans could end-up getting a crash course on the Constitution.”
Creech was talking about a series of steps that have to take place once the votes are certified. These steps vary from state to state, but a broad overview suggests they could include the following:
States send electors to the Electoral College to vote for the President of the United States.
Most states appoint their electors according to the candidate that won the popular vote and vote accordingly. If disputes, however, over the election results are not resolved by December 8, which is called the safe-harbor deadline, then state legislatures may decide whether the results are unlawful and choose the electors. But even then, if the Governor in a state is of a different political party than the one in control of the state legislature, each could choose rival electors supporting different candidates – something called dueling electors.
According to federal law, if the new Congress is presented with dueling electors from the same state, the U.S. House and Senate vote to determine which electors will be accepted. If there is agreement, then the slate of electors chosen is counted. If not, the slate selected by the state’s Governor prevails.
Electors are supposed to meet on December 14 to vote for the President. Although electors are expected to vote for the candidate they pledged to support on behalf of their state, it’s still possible they may vote otherwise. Such are called “faithless electors,” which could put a wrinkle in the expected results.
Even after this, it’s possible, though not probable, there could be no winner when the newly elected Congress meets on January 6. If no candidate accrues the necessary two-hundred and seventy electoral votes to become President of the United States, the responsibility for choosing the President resides with the U.S. House of Representatives – something called a Contingent Election.
A Contingent Election is held under the authority of the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In a contingent election, the U.S. House of Representatives chooses the next President, and the U.S. Senate chooses the Vice President.
In a contingent election, each state has only one vote for the President’s election, and a majority of all the state delegations are necessary to win. In the Senate, a majority vote of all Senators is needed for the Vice Presidential candidate to win.
The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that the terms of the President and Vice President end on January 20, 2021. If the House isn’t able to elect a President by this time, then the Vice President-Elect serves as acting President until all matters can be resolved. Should the Senate be unable to elect the Vice President by this time, then the Speaker of the House would serve as the acting President.
“As you can see, we could be in for a long and bumpy ride,” said Rev. Creech. “Moreover, I can only wonder how patient the nation will be, especially the side that was rioting and looting earlier this year, the side the Biden-Harris ticket coddled for votes and never strongly condemned. Are we going to see more violence and destruction by them if the matter doesn’t go their way?”
Creech added that if Christians ever believed in prayer, they shouldn’t doubt its power now, but pray earnestly for a righteous and just resolution to the current circumstances.
“Let us pray for peace, but not at the expense of justice. And let us pray for justice accompanied by brotherly love and peace,” said Creech.