Although the winner of an American election normally will get introduced quickly after the vote occurs, the result’s by no means truly official on Election Day. It’s not even official as soon as the media makes their outcome projections, as occurred final week. As a substitute, election outcomes truly grow to be actual when state and native election authorities ensure that each legitimate vote was counted and formally certify them.

Whereas President Donald Trump continues to dispute the election—he’s launched over a dozen authorized efforts to show fraud, problem counts, and delay certification—every lawsuit has effectively failed to this point. 

Election officers appointed by the Trump administration say the president’s claims are dangerous and lack any credibility. Each state says there isn’t any evidence of fraud, and federal and native election officers of each events launched a joint statement to say precisely that. Because it has been since he began making accusations years in the past, the president’s claims about election fraud are totally empty. 

What does certifying outcomes actually imply? The method is identical this 12 months because it’s been any earlier 12 months. Election officers canvass outcomes by tabulating and verifying the result throughout their states. They have a look at provisional ballots, and people which had been challenged based on state and generally even county legal guidelines. After checking them over, the outcomes are licensed: the formal course of wherein the result is made official. The precise methodology varies state to state, however usually a secretary of state or a state board of elections will meet after counting is concluded and signal a certification of the outcomes.

Counting might have taken longer this 12 months as a result of the pandemic dramatically elevated the variety of mail-in ballots, however the one significant distinction is that the sitting president is carrying on an unprecedented assault on the outcomes. Trump’s authorized challenges and recount requests may theoretically alter the certification timeline, however courts have been throwing out the marketing campaign’s efforts to this point due to an absence of proof.

Meaning the subsequent couple of weeks will characteristic a cascade of certifications, and every will transfer the general course of ahead. Though partisan state and native officers may theoretically block certification or appoint their very own electors, there’s slim to no signal that anybody at the moment plans to do this. In Georgia, that’s resulted in Trump lashing out at elected Republican officers unwilling to echo his lies. In Ohio, the Republican governor who co-chaired Trump’s reelection marketing campaign acknowledged former vice chairman Joe Biden’s win and Trump instantly attacked him on Twitter. 

Right here’s what occurs subsequent within the states which have performed a key position within the presidential election:

  • Georgia’s certification deadline is November 20. 
  • Pennsylvania counties should submit certification by November 23. 
  • Michigan’s certification deadline is November 23.
  • Nevada’s certification deadline is November 24. 
  • Arizona’s certification deadline is November 30.
  • Wisconsin’s certification deadline is December 1.

Biden is profitable in all of these states.

On December 14, the Electoral School casts its votes after which the states are performed. The election then lastly strikes into federal arms: two months after Election Day, Congress formally elects the subsequent president on January 6 when it counts electoral votes in a joint session.