Electoral College finalizes certification of votes

Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stand after to reading the final certification of Electoral College votes cast in November’s presidential election during a joint session of Congress after working through the night, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

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UPDATED 9:13 AM PT – Thursday, January 7, 2021

After protesters stormed the nation’s capitol, Congress later reconvened to debate the 2020 Electoral College certification. The congressional joint session was held late Wednesday to tally the presidential votes of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The process took longer than usual as Republican lawmakers objected to the certification of results from several states with the first objection arising over the vote tally in Arizona. In a 93-to-six vote, however, senators overwhelmingly rejected the objection to the Electoral College votes from the state. The measure was also dismissed in the House.

“On this vote the yeas are six, the nays are 93: the objection is not sustained,” stated Vice President Mike Pence. “The secretary will notify the House of the action of the Senate informing that body that the Senate is now ready to proceed to joint session with further counting of the electoral vote for president and vice president.”

Objections were also raised over the certification of electoral votes in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The chambers voted against the Arizona and Pennsylvania objections, while the Georgia, Wisconsin and Nevada objections were defeated on procedural grounds due to the lack of a senator joining the effort. Among them was Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.).

“When I arrived in Washington this morning I fully intended to object to the certification of the electoral votes, however, the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider and I cannot now in good conscious object to certification of these electors,” she stated. “The violence, the lawlessness and siege of the halls of Congress are abhorrent and stand as a direct attack on the very institution my objection was intended to protect.”

Objections must be presented in writing and signed by one senator and one member of the House. Meanwhile, in the midst of the count, several lawmakers took to the podium to highlight the chaos experienced earlier that day while thanking those who held the line.

“I’d like to recognize the members now who helped to hold the line: Markwayne Mullin, Tony Gonzales, Jason Crow, Pat Fallon and Troy Nehls,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Working with the Capitol Police, they ensured the floor of this chamber was never breached…these are the heroes among us.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) went on to say he was grateful to experience one day where his Democrat colleagues did not call to “defund the police.”

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