The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the counting of electoral votes by the United States Congress. This is a procedure that is outlined by the Constitution and happens every presidential election. The Elector Clause – Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 – states the following:
The Electors shall meet in their
respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least
shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall
make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each;
which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the
Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The
President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of
Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be
counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President,
if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if
there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of
Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one
of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five
highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.
But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the
Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall
consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of
all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice
of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the
Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more
who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice
This clause clearly shows that the
two-party political system did not exist when the Constitution was written. The
Framers of the Constitution created a system where the person with the most
votes would become the President of the United States and the person receiving
the second most votes would become the Vice President. Can you even imagine our
government operating with Joe Biden as President and Donald Trump as Vice
President – or vice versa? We know that it would not work.
It did not take long before the new
country understood that a change needed to be made. According to an article by Amelia Golini, Amendment 12 was “proposed after the 1796 election resulted in a
president (John Adams) and vice president (Thomas Jefferson) from opposing parties,
and the 1800 election led to a tie between Jefferson and Aaron Burr.” Jefferson
and Burr were both form the Democratic-Republican Party and received equal
numbers of votes. Congress voted 36 times before the tie was broken. Jefferson
became the President with Burr as his Vice President. The amendment was
ratified in 1804 when Jefferson was re-elected with George Clinton as the first
Vice President under Amendment 12.
Amendment 12 was passed by Congress
on December 9, 1803, and it was ratified on June 15, 1804 – several months
before a November presidential election. This amendment changed a portion of
Article II, Section 1. A portion of it was later amended by Amendment 20.
… The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; -- The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. -- The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
Amendment 20 changed the applicable
dates as follows: “The terms of the
President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and
the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of
the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been
ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”
of the House of Representatives and the Senate are required by law to certify
the electoral votes as being true and free from fraud. It is their
responsibility to be the final judges of the integrity of the election. Apparently,
there is enough evidence of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election to
convince numerous Republicans in Congress to object to the electoral votes. The
precedent for doing so was set in 2000 and 2016 when Democrat representatives
opposed electoral votes for Donald Trump and for George Bush – but they had no
Senate sponsors for their opposition.
than 140 Republican representatives are said to be ready to oppose the
electoral votes for six or seven swing states – those states with alleged
election fraud. At least a dozen Republican Senators, led by Senator Ted Cruz
of Texas, have stated that they will sponsor the objections. It looks like
there will be a few debates in Congress starting on January 6, 2021.
understand that the electoral votes from each state will be handled as a separate
matter. Alabama’s votes will be announced and subjected to vote, then Alaska,
etc. When an objection is raised, the process will be halted, and the separate Houses
will debate the matter for two hours. If both Houses vote to annul the electoral
votes for that state, then the votes will not be counted. If the votes of
enough states are not counted – and neither candidate has 270 votes, the House
of Representatives will determine the next President. This is where the wording
of Amendment 12 is important.
… the House of Representatives shall
choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President,
the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state
having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or
members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall
be necessary to a choice….
Since each state will have one vote
per delegation, there will be only fifty votes. Even though there are more
Democrat representatives in the House, there are more Republican delegations.
If the vote goes to the House, it is possible for Donald Trump to remain in
The best thing that we can do for America
now is to pray for the members of Congress with Vice President Mike Pence as
the President of the Senate. All Americans should be praying for God’s help in
determining what happened on Election Day and who should become the next
President of the United States. We should pray that the eyes and ears of our representatives
will be opened, and their hearts will be softened enough to discern the will of
God. May God continue to bless America!