A group of House Democrats is considering one last pointless attempt to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. The lawmakers may issue a formal challenge during a joint session of Congress on Friday to certify the Electoral College results.
According to the rules of the joint session, individual members are allowed to offer objections to the official tally, and a handful of Democrats, including Reps. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Bobby Scott of Virginia and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, have signaled their willingness to utilize this tactic.
They are being spurred on by progressive activist groups such as Americans Take Action and Unite for America, which are seeking to have dozens of the Electoral College members who voted for Donald Trump disqualified on legal technicalities. The activist groups have argued that Trump’s election to the presidency is “completely illegitimate.”
Even if the Democratic House members make good on their threats to challenge the certification of the Electoral College results, they would need at least one Senator to join them. At this point, no Senators seem interested in taking part in the pointless act.
If a member from each chamber challenges the result, it would trigger a formal debate on each protest Electoral College vote. This almost certainly wouldn’t change the end result of the election, but it could create controversy by delaying the formal certification of Trump’s victory.
The Electoral College results have been protested in such a fashion just twice since 1877, most recently in 2005 when the Ohio results were challenged. As a result, George W. Bush was certified as the election winner a few hours later than if the challenge had not been issued.
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