Here’s why Trump’s 'window for subversion' with the 2020 election results is closing: report
More than a month has passed since the 2020 presidential election, and President Donald Trump and his legal team continue to fight the election results —claiming, without evidence, that he was the victim of widespread voter fraud and that President-elect Joe Biden didn't really win 306 electoral votes and defeat Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote. But CNN reporters Paul LeBlanc and Zachary B. Wolf, in an article published on Safe Harbor Day, explain why Trump's "small window for subversion officially closes" this week.
Tuesday, December 8 is, according to federal election law in the United States, Safe Harbor Day — which, according to LeBlanc and Wolf, means "that when Congress tallies the electoral votes in January, it must accept electoral results that were certified before the deadline." Safe Harbor Day, they point out, is a day to "determine election results and assign electors."
"Under the Electoral Count Act, this is the date by which states are meant to have counted votes, settled disputes, and determined the winner of their Electoral College votes," the CNN reporters explain. "Governors are supposed to create certificates of ascertainment listing the winner of the election and the slate of electors, and those results are shielded from further challenge."
LeBlanc and Wolf note that during the November 10-December 11 period, states certify their election results. Biden's victory has been certified by state officials in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and other battleground states that he won.
Happy Safe Harbor Day! Or better yet, Happy Today Is When Federal Law Says the States’ Determinations of Who Their… https://t.co/FsiFuig1A4— George Conway (@George Conway)1607405032.0
Happy Safe Harbor Day. Although Trump forces will undoubtedly try to continue re-re-litigating the election, challe… https://t.co/xylrKwJgV0— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene)1607412649.0
Electoral votes, LeBlanc and Wolf add, are cast on "the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December" — which, this year, will be Monday, December 14.
"Electors will meet in their respective states and cast paper ballots for U.S. president," LeBlanc and Wolf write. "The results are then tabulated, signed, sealed and sent by registered mail to the vice president in Washington. Many states have laws requiring their electors to support the winner of their state's election."
Those electoral votes must arrive in Washington, D.C by December 23, and in early January, electoral votes are certified by members of Congress.
According to CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, "The arrival of the Safe Harbor date should effectively extinguish any dying embers of hope even for the last few remaining election denialists. And what an utter disaster — legally and otherwise — the Trump team's effort to contest the election in the courts has been."
Nonetheless, LeBlanc and Wolf point out that there is "still room for drama" from Trump supporters.
"House conservatives want a floor fight," the CNN reporters observe. "Trump's staunchest defenders on Capitol Hill are urging him not to concede even after the Electoral College vote next week, calling on their party's leader to fight for his unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud all the way to the House floor in January. Watch for an unceremonious exit."
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