In 50 shades of “Hey, wait a minute,” Democratic Congress members said they may formally challenge the certification of 50 Electoral College votes for Donald Trump. They have the right to do it. So, if they do, what would happen?
At Friday’s joint session, Democrats Representatives Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Bobby Scott of Virginia, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and John Conyers of Michigan signaled they may take advantage of that opportunity. But it does not stop there.
They need at least one senator to make any sort of impact. It seems they probably cannot change the final vote, but a bicameral (two-chamber) challenge would certainly delay the Electoral College’s final certification of Trump’s victory. Then the House and Senate would each have to debate the vote, according to POLITICO.
As of now, no senator has come forward to back such efforts, but should one do so, it would be just the third time since the 1800’s that Congress challenged the Electoral College.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters outside the House chamber, said she has not made any decision on the Electoral College challenge:
‘We’ll see. I’m just hearing about this now.’ We’ve been through this before with Florida and Gore.’
Although Congress challenged Ohio’s electoral votes in 2005, during President George W. Bush’s reelection, it did not garner the same amount of attention. That challenge did not affect the election results, and it only delayed President Bush’s confirmation for a few hours.
There is little-to-no chance that a challenge would make any difference in the outcome this time, because the vote would then move to the Republican-controlled Congress. But the challenge would be another protest to Trump’s presidency.
When James Clyburn was questioned about any possible challenge, the Assistant Democratic leader said:
‘It’s a way for some people to have fun.’
A spokeswoman said Perlmutter probably will not question the Electoral College vote unless a senator joins the group. The representative said that he wants to use this avenue to point to Russian interference in the US election. The statement said:
‘This is not about trying to stop Donald Trump from becoming President. This is about the fact that our liberty, freedom and democracy were compromised by Russia’s intrusion into America’s election.
It continued with a demand that a foreign nation should never influence U.S. elections:
‘We cannot allow a foreign nation to ever influence our elections because it harms our liberty, freedom and independence. This is bigger than just one election, and for the sake of our democracy, we must remain vigilant.’
Check out this video to hear a fun explanation of how the Electoral College works.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla.