Now that the election is over, what’s next? Traditionally, the defeated candidate would make a conceding speech congratulating the winner and start the process of transitioning the White House to them. But this election has been anything but normal.
So, to clarify what happens, let’s go over the process. Robert Reich, a professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, states that the Constitution and Federal Law establishes clear timelines of how electoral votes are processed and when the president takes office.
The first of many dates to pay attention to is December 8th. States have until this date to resolve any election disputes. Then, on December 14th the electors meet in their states, cast paper ballots for president and vice president, and governors certify these votes before sending them to Congress by December 23rd. On January 6th, after the New Year, the newly sworn-in Congress meets in a joint session to officially accept each state’s Electoral College votes and count them. This entire process usually goes on without many of us thinking much about it, and is when the presidential race is formally ended.
Lastly, January 20th, the president and vice president are inaugurated.
Our next president will be Joe Biden and as much as President Trump has tried to undermine and confuse this process, the laws have been written for a reason. The many lawsuits filed by Trump’s lawyers to challenge or claim any voter fraud have been either thrown out or dropped in court for no evidence. This has been an attempt to make state legislatures doubt enough to appoint their own electors, which will likely not happen. The reason for this is because it would be unconstitutional and could spark public outrage which no state legislature wants. So, for anyone that was unclear before, this is how we transition power over to a new elected president.
Our democracy is stronger than the misinformation that is being spread to distrust this process and the country’s voting system, so be patient and trust the process. Hopefully, we can see our country build a better future where everyone, from every walk of life can trust their vote and that their voice matters.