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In 2021, America appeared to come precipitously close to an electoral cliff as record numbers of members of Congress objected to the counting of certified slates of electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden — even after Congress was besieged by a violent mob of pro-Trump insurrections whose goal was to stop the count.
A number of Republican senators, including Mike Braun of Indiana, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, stood down from their previous plans to vote to reject slates of electors, meaning that only six of the 99 present voted to sustain the objection to Arizona’s electors and seven for the objection to Pennsylvania’s electors.
In the House, however, most Republicans followed through with their plans to formally object to Arizona’s slate of 11 electors and Pennsylvania’s slate of 20 for Biden. After the insurrection, 56% of the House GOP caucus voted to reject Arizona’s electors and 65% moved to reject Pennsylvania’s electors, moves based on Trump’s repeated and baseless claims of election fraud that failed in dozens of court cases.
Those efforts also failed in both the House and Senate, but they raised new concerns for what could happen in 2024 or further down the line if one party controls both chambers of the Congress and a candidate from the opposing party wins.
It’s well within the realm of possibility that Democrats in the 2022 mid-terms could lose their slim control of both bodies of Congress, setting up the potential for a bid to overturn states’ electoral votes. But even so, Congress has limited power to rejected certified electors and would face a tough case in court to defend this unprecedented and anti-democratic act.
Read more: Historians worry a Trump library will be an airbrushed ‘MAGA’ tribute to a twice-impeached president
Can Congress unilaterally overturn election results? It’s not so simple.
Congress would have needed to reject multiple states Biden won to overturn his 306-232 electoral vote defeat of Trump. But what if the Electoral College vote was much closer?
Consider a closer election where Congress only needed to reject one state’s slate of electors to overturn the winner’s victory, leaving no candidate with a clear majority of electoral votes. This could trigger a contingent election where the House would decide the winner. In that process, each state delegation, as opposed to each member individually, would get one vote.
It’s well within the realm of possibility for Republicans to regain control of both the House and Senate given their extremely narrow majorities in both chambers and the historical precedent of the opposition party to the president gaining seats in midterm elections.
Democrats’ losses in 2020’s US House elections not only narrowed the size of their majority, but also deepened the disadvantage they hold in control of state delegations.
Before the election, Republicans controlled 26 delegations compared to 23 for Democrats, with one state’s delegation, Pennsylvania’s, split between nine Republicans and nine Democrats. Now, after the …read more
Source:: Business Insider