Safe harbor secures Biden’s victory for Electoral College

All U.S. states except Wisconsin appear to have reached a deadline under federal law to resolve disputes arising from the November 3 presidential election, thereby securing Democrat Joe Biden’s victory for the Electoral College.

Tuesday is the so-called safe harbor deadline for states to resolve disputes arising from the election. Under U.S. law, Congress will consider a state’s election results as “decisive” if it is final to a security date.

Other than Wisconsin, each state appears to have met the deadline, which essentially means that Congress must accept the ballots that will be cast next week and sent to the Capitol on January 6th.

These votes will officially elect Biden as the country’s next president.

“What federal law requires is that if a state completes its certification after the December 8 election, Congress is required to accept those results,” said Rebecca Green, an election professor at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The Electoral College is a creation of the Constitution, but Congress sets the date for federal elections and decides, in the case of the presidency, when the presidential election gathers in state capitals to vote.

In 2020, this date will be 14 December. But Congress also set a new deadline, six days before voters meet, to isolate state results from being challenged in Congress.

At the end of the day on December 14, each state is expected to have made its election results official and allocated 306 votes to Biden and 232 to President Donald Trump.

Trump’s refusal to accept defeat

Attention to the normally obscure security provision is a function of Trump’s relentless efforts to question the legitimacy of the election. He has refused to admit, made illicit allegations of fraud and called on Republican lawmakers in key states to appoint voters who would vote for him even after those states have certified a Biden win.

But Trump’s arguments have not gone anywhere in court in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Most of his campaign lawsuits in state courts challenging these Biden victories have been rejected, with the exception of Wisconsin, where a hearing is scheduled for later this week.

Like the others, the mood does not seem to have much chance of success. But because it was filed under state law to challenge election results, “it looks like Wisconsin will miss the safe haven deadline because of it,” said Edward Foley, professor of suffrage at Ohio State University Moritz School of Law. , in comments to AP.

Judge Stephen Simanek, appointed to deal with the case, has acknowledged that the case would drive the state out of a poll-safe port.

Missing the deadline does not deprive Wisconsin of its ten electoral votes. Biden voters will still meet in Madison on Monday to cast their ballots and there is no reason to expect Congress will not accept them. In any case, Biden would still have more than the 270 votes he needs even without Wisconsin.

But lawmakers in Washington could theoretically guess at the election of voters from all states who miss the December 8 deadline, Foley said.

Already a member of the House of Representatives, Republican Mo Brooks of Alabama, has said he will challenge Biden’s January 6 election. Brooks would need to object in writing and be accompanied by at least one senator. Should that happen, both chambers would debate the objections and vote on whether to uphold them.

But if both houses did not agree with the objections, they would fail.

Bush v. Gore Precedent

The reluctance of Trump and his supporters to concede is “dangerous because in an election contest one side wins, one side loses and it is important that the losing side accepts the winner’s victory. What is really being challenged right now is our ability to follow these rules, says Foley.

The Safe Harbor rule played a prominent role in the Bush v. Gore case after the 2000 presidential election. The Supreme Court closed on the repayment of the state of Florida because the deadline for safe harbor was approaching. The Court’s opinion was delivered on 12 December 2000.

Former Vice President Al Gore granted the race to George W. Bush, then Texas governor, the next day.

In his disagreement, Justice Stephen Breyer said that the deadline that really mattered was the day the Electoral College was to meet. Whether there had been time to make a recalculation then “is a matter for the state courts to decide”, Breyer wrote.

When Florida’s ballot, which was crucial to Bush’s victory, reached Congress, several Black House members protested, but no senators agreed. It was left to Gore, who led the bill as Senate President, to bring down the objections of his colleagues to the Democrats. .

( Jowharwith AP)