2020 ElectionCurrent AffairsTrump

Dueling Electors – An American Tradition

America’s Founding Fathers were stubbornly argumentative in their debates about the government they were creating. Not only verbally, but also physically. They challenged each other to pistol duels, resulting in Alexander Hamilton’s death.

That passion for duels has since found its way into the Electoral College they devised.

Electoral College votes are allocated to the fifty states and the District of Columbia on the basis of congressional representation with each contender—Republican and Democrat—commanding equal number of electors. Thus, 270 of the 538 electoral votes, determine the winner in the 2020 presidential election.

Forty-eight states grant all their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the majority of their popular votes. In Maine and Nebraska, the electoral votes are divided between the candidates proportionately to the popular votes each has scored. Seven of the 48 states that command a total of eighty-four electoral votes—Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), Georgia (16), Arizona (11), Wisconsin (10), Nevada (6), and New Mexico (5)— have certified both their Republican and Democratic electors for Trump and Biden respectfully. It creates dual electors in Congress, or two competing slates of electors.

U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions may determine which of the dueling slate of electors should be counted at the joint session.

“We have historical precedent here, and in each of these states there is pending litigation. If that litigation proved successful, then the Trump electors, having met and voted, would be able to have those votes certified and be the ones properly counted in the joint session of Congress on January 6,” says John Eastman, professor of law at Chapman School of Law, and counsel representing Trump in the Supreme Court appeals of the cases from six of the seven states with dueling electors— Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico.

When there are dueling electors, members of the joint session of Congress consider the dueling lists and conduct a vote. Both the House of Representatives and Senate have to agree on which slate of electors to accept.

If the two chambers can’t agree, the slate certified by the state are counted.

Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, is leading the charge to win as many congressional hearts and minds as possible to disqualify at least 36, if not more, of Biden’s 306 electoral votes so that Biden doesn’t meet the 270 thresholds to win the presidency.

More than 130 Republican congressmen have said they will join Brooks and challenge the electoral votes.

Senator Ted Cruz is leading a group of 10 senators to challenge and audit the votes.

“I think when you get to the joint session of Congress, there’s going to be a fight about which of the slates of electors need to be counted, based on the evidence and the statutory violations that are presented at the time,” Professor Eastman warned.

“Jan 6 challenge is on” tweeted Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

Trump has asked his supporters to rally and protest in Washington on January 6. “Be there, will be wild,” he tweeted – and they are — and it is. Is it the beginning of Americas’ Third Revolution?

A Revolution and clarion cry to abolish the Electoral College, subjects I discuss at length in Custom Maid Revolution, for New World Disorder?

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Illustration: Mark Caparosa

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