Most in Republican leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have expressed support for Trump’s legal challenges. However, as Trump’s avenue to reelection narrowed over the weekend, a few Republicans called for the Trump administration to work with Biden’s team on a transition.
Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said in a statement Saturday that the president’s team “has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania.” While calling himself “deeply disappointed” in the election result, he added: “To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime Trump ally, also called for a transition. “I’ve been a supporter of the president’s. I voted for him twice … but elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen.”
On Monday, retiring Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander said Trump should “put the country first and help Biden’s administration succeed.”
Questions surrounding states’ results must be resolved by Dec. 8. That’s also the deadline for states to choose electors. If a state cannot resolve its disputes and sends multiple slates of electors to cast competing votes, Congress will have to agree on which set of votes count.
“The House of Representatives can refuse to accept the electors sent by a state if they find them illicit. The House is majority Democrat, so it is hard to see how there is a path here,” Kosar said.
On Dec. 14, electors for the winning party in each state will meet at their state capitols to cast the Electoral College votes. Congress will tally the votes Jan. 6. Inauguration Day is Jan. 20.
Here is a breakdown of the election certification process in crucial states for the 2020 election:
Georgia: On Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certified Georgia’s results, confirming that the state’s 16 electoral votes will go to Biden after a hand recount. The Trump campaign has requested a machine recount, which will begin Tuesday.
Michigan: If Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers had failed to certify results by its Monday deadline, the deadlock would have then gone to the state’s Court of Appeals, which would likely have compelled the board to certify the results. Certification authorizes Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to then confirm the winning party will get to send its electors to vote. Next month, those electors will cast Michigan’s 16 votes for Biden at the state Capitol. Biden leads in the state count by more than 155,000 votes.
Pennsylvania: The state of Pennsylvania also faced a Monday deadline. State results are certified at a county level. All but four of 67 counties voted Monday to certify results. After certification, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar will then give the winning party the state’s 20 electoral votes. On Saturday, a federal judge rejected a Trump campaign request to delay Pennsylvania’s certification of election results. He said the president’s legal team failed to produce “factual proof of rampant corruption.” The campaign has appealed the decision. Biden leads in the state by more than 81,000 votes.
Nevada: Tuesday is Nevada’s deadline. The state’s counties have already certified results, but the state Supreme Court and Gov. Steve Sisolak must sign off on statewide certification. The Trump campaign still has outstanding lawsuits in the state, but it was unclear Monday if any would delay certification. Biden leads the state by 33,000 votes. The Trump campaign may ask for a recount after certification.
Arizona: Arizona will certify results on Nov. 30. After each individual county certifies results, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs can certify the statewide results. After an initial delay, the last outstanding county, Mohave County, certified its results on Monday. Asked what would happen if the Legislature tried to tap electors favorable to Trump, Sophia Solis, a public information officer for the Arizona Secretary of State, said in an email to WORLD that “nothing in Arizona law gives Arizona state legislators the authority to override official election results.”
Wisconsin: The state is scheduled to certify results on Dec. 1. Several of Wisconsin’s counties are currently conducting a recount requested by the Trump campaign.