Congress set to certify Electoral College votes: Here's what to look for

Some Republican senators set to object to certification of Electoral College vote
117th Congress at the U.S. Capitol
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 18:16:14-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The last step in reaffirming President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 presidential election win will occur in Congress Wednesday.

The House and Senate will convene to count the Electoral College votes. Still, the process is expected to take longer than usual after a handful of senators, and dozens of House members said they will vote no to certify Biden's victory.

RELATED: US Rep. Mast to oppose certifying Electoral College vote | EXPLAINER: How Congress will count Electoral College votes

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and others have cited President Trump's repeated, baseless charges of widespread fraud despite a range of election officials, including former Attorney General William Barr, have refuted these claims.

Presidential electors from across the country met in December to finalize the 2020 election and formally choose Joe Biden as the next president.

Kevin Rader, former state senator
Former state senator Kevin Rader doesn't believe Congress will overturn the 2020 election results.

WPTV asked some people along Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach what Congress will do Wednesday.

Bill McGowan is a teacher and former missionary who believes enough representatives in Congress might give President Donald Trump the victory.

"I think there will be a great controversy. We know at least one congressman, maybe up to seven, are going to protest, and we know at least one senator," said McGowan.

Kevin Rader, a former Democratic state senator in South Florida, believes it won't happen that way.

"I'm not versed on Constitutional law, but for the most part, the Congress is not supposed to be the arbiter of elections, of state elections," Rader said.

In a way, they may both be right.

Charles Zelden, political science professor at Nova Southeastern University
Charles Zelden, a political science professor at Nova Southeastern University, says Democrats in the House will not agree to changing any electoral votes, solidifying Joe Biden's victory.

Political science professor Charles Zelden of Nova Southeastern University said Congress is supposed to count the electoral votes, which can be challenged and changed if both the House and Senate agree.

"It's mostly going to be the debate itself, kabuki theater. It's going to be for show. They're not debating each other because no one is going to change their mind," Zelden said.

If there was a tie, then the House decides the presidency, which is controlled by the Democrats.

Vice President Mike Pence, the president of the Senate, presides over the session and declares the winner of the election. Zelden said his power is limited.

"While people have made arguments that the vice president has the power to do whatever he wants … the reality is no," Zelden said.