NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, January 7th, 2021

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory affirmed by Congress with all electoral votes counted

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic tick­et of Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala D. Har­ris won the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and will take office on Jan­u­ary 20th, 2021 as the next Pres­i­dent and Vice Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.

This fact has been known for two months, yet due to Don­ald J. Trump’s refusal to con­cede the elec­tion — and his enablers’ insis­tence on base­less­ly chal­leng­ing the results at every turn — each cer­e­mo­ni­al stage of the pre-inau­gu­ra­tion process has been unnec­es­sar­i­ly infused with dra­ma, includ­ing the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly-required process of count­ing the Elec­toral Col­lege votes that occurs in ear­ly January.

By way of back­ground, Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 1 of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides:

The Elec­tors shall meet in their respec­tive States, and vote by Bal­lot for two Per­sons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhab­i­tant of the same State with themselves.

And they shall make a List of all the Per­sons vot­ed for, and of the Num­ber of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and cer­ti­fy, and trans­mit sealed to the Seat of the Gov­ern­ment of the Unit­ed States, direct­ed to the Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate. The Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate shall, in the Pres­ence of the Sen­ate and House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, open all the Cer­tifi­cates, and the Votes shall then be counted.

And Title 3, Chap­ter 1, Sec­tion 15 of the U.S. Code pro­vides:

Con­gress shall be in ses­sion on the sixth day of Jan­u­ary suc­ceed­ing every meet­ing of the elec­tors. The Sen­ate and House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the hour of one o’clock in the after­noon on that day, and the Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate shall be their pre­sid­ing officer.

Two tellers shall be pre­vi­ous­ly appoint­ed on the part of the Sen­ate and two on the part of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to whom shall be hand­ed, as they are opened by the Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate, all the cer­tifi­cates and papers pur­port­ing to be cer­tifi­cates of the elec­toral votes, which cer­tifi­cates and papers shall be opened, pre­sent­ed, and act­ed upon in the alpha­bet­i­cal order of the States, begin­ning with the let­ter A; and said tellers, hav­ing then read the same in the pres­ence and hear­ing of the two Hous­es, shall make a list of the votes as they shall appear from the said cer­tifi­cates; and the votes hav­ing been ascer­tained and count­ed accord­ing to the rules in this sub­chap­ter pro­vid­ed, the result of the same shall be deliv­ered to the Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate, who shall there­upon announce the state of the vote, which announce­ment shall be deemed a suf­fi­cient dec­la­ra­tion of the per­sons, if any, elect­ed Pres­i­dent and Vice Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, and, togeth­er with a list of the votes, be entered on the Jour­nals of the two Houses.

Yes­ter­day, Jan­u­ary 6th, 2021, was the sixth day of Jan­u­ary suc­ceed­ing a meet­ing of the Elec­toral Col­lege. At the pre­scribed hour, the Unit­ed States House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the Sen­ate duly met in joint ses­sion to enable the Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate, in the pres­ence of each cham­ber, to open all of the cer­tifi­cates trans­mit­ted by the elec­tors, and count the sub­mit­ted votes.

Not long after the pro­ceed­ings began, an objec­tion was raised by Trump’s Repub­li­can enablers to the count­ing of Ari­zon­a’s Elec­toral Col­lege votes, upon which the joint ses­sion tem­porar­i­ly dis­solved to per­mit the objec­tion to be debat­ed and dis­pensed with by each cham­ber in accor­dance with the afore­men­tioned pro­vi­sion of the U.S. Code, which fur­ther states:

Upon such read­ing of any such cer­tifi­cate or paper, the Pres­i­dent of the Sen­ate shall call for objec­tions, if any.

Every objec­tion shall be made in writ­ing, and shall state clear­ly and con­cise­ly, and with­out argu­ment, the ground there­of, and shall be signed by at least one Sen­a­tor and one Mem­ber of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives before the same shall be received.

When all objec­tions so made to any vote or paper from a State shall have been received and read, the Sen­ate shall there­upon with­draw, and such objec­tions shall be sub­mit­ted to the Sen­ate for its deci­sion; and the Speak­er of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives shall, in like man­ner, sub­mit such objec­tions to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for its deci­sion; and no elec­toral vote or votes from any State which shall have been reg­u­lar­ly giv­en by elec­tors whose appoint­ment has been law­ful­ly cer­ti­fied to accord­ing to sec­tion 6 of this title from which but one return has been received shall be reject­ed, but the two Hous­es con­cur­rent­ly may reject the vote or votes when they agree that such vote or votes have not been so reg­u­lar­ly giv­en by elec­tors whose appoint­ment has been so certified.

Dur­ing the debate over the Ari­zona objec­tion, a ter­ror­ist mob that Don­ald Trump had pre­vi­ous­ly spo­ken to that day smashed its way through the Capi­tol and began to spread out through the build­ing, prompt­ing the evac­u­a­tion of the House and Sen­ate floor cham­bers, as has been pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed here and elsewhere.

Hours lat­er, at 8 PM East­ern, Con­gress solemn­ly recon­vened, with the Capi­tol hav­ing been made secure and the ter­ror­ists evict­ed, to resume its elec­toral vote count­ing duties as required by the Con­sti­tu­tion and fed­er­al law.

The Ari­zona objec­tion was over­whelm­ing­ly vot­ed down, as was a sub­se­quent objec­tion to the count­ing of Penn­syl­va­ni­a’s elec­toral votes.

The Ari­zona objec­tion failed in the Sen­ate by a vote of nine­ty-three to six and the Penn­syl­va­nia objec­tion failed by a vote of nine­ty-two to sev­en.

The Ari­zona objec­tion failed in the House by a vote of three hun­dred and three to one hun­dred and twen­ty-one. The Penn­syl­va­nia objec­tion failed by a vote of two hun­dred and eighty-two to one hun­dred and thir­ty-eight.

Objec­tions raised by House Repub­li­cans to the count­ing of elec­toral votes cast by sev­er­al oth­er states (like Geor­gia and Wis­con­sin) were not enter­tained by Con­gress due to the lack of sup­port from a Repub­li­can Unit­ed States Senator.

With Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence grave­ly stand­ing at one side of the ros­trum and Speak­er Pelosi at the oth­er, the votes of each state and the Dis­trict Colum­bia were read, acknowl­edged as prop­er­ly cast, and accept­ed by Congress.

Late in the wee hours of the night, with the objec­tions dis­pensed with and the count­ing of all the elec­toral votes com­plete, Pence announced that Biden and Har­ris had been elect­ed as Pres­i­dent and Vice Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.

On social media, patri­ots who had stayed up to watch cel­e­brat­ed, with some post­ing cel­e­bra­to­ry memes and jokes about Biden and Har­ris hav­ing “won” for the umpteenth time. Of course, Biden and Har­ris actu­al­ly won by secur­ing the elec­tor slates of states rep­re­sent­ing a major­i­ty of the Elec­toral Col­lege back in Novem­ber, plus the elec­toral vote allot­ted to Nebraska’s 2nd Con­gres­sion­al District.

How­ev­er, as not­ed above, since Trump has false­ly claimed vic­to­ry him­self and filed a mas­sive num­ber of unsuc­cess­ful law­suits to over­turn the results in sev­er­al states, it has­n’t felt to many like the elec­tion is tru­ly behind us. Hence, the jokes about Biden and Har­ris win­ning over and over, and Trump losing.

Thank­ful­ly, the law­suits have failed, the Elec­toral Col­lege has vot­ed, and its votes count­ed by Con­gress. Democ­ra­cy has pre­vailed, and the can­di­dates cho­sen by the peo­ple of the Unit­ed States have been prop­er­ly acknowl­edged as the win­ners of the elec­tion. In less than two weeks, it will be Inau­gu­ra­tion Day and the begin­ning of a new era in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, with Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­trol of both hous­es of Con­gress and the pres­i­den­cy for the first time in ten years.

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One Comment

  1. Biden with poten­tial­ly a chance to even­tu­al­ly swing a Supreme Court seat.

    # by Mike Barer :: January 8th, 2021 at 6:59 AM
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