“President Trump is refusing to concede the election. Most Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, won’t yet acknowledge that president-elect Joe Biden won. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday there will be a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration” (though perhaps he was joking).
So, you may be wondering … what’s going to happen?
With GOP politicians’ rhetoric all over the place, it’s useful to focus on concrete matters. Two things will happen over the next five weeks that ordinarily would be formalities, but in a disputed election will be crucial.
First, states will certify their election results — December 8 is the deadline set by federal law, but most states have set earlier deadlines. Second, once state results are certified, the Electoral College will cast the votes that will officially choose the next president, on December 14.
Both of these processes are currently on track to make Biden the next president. And despite all the sound and fury, nothing happening yet appears likely to get in the way of either process.
That could change, however. The dangerous scenario would be if some combination of Republican state officials, Republican legislators, and Republican-appointed judges attempts to block the certification of results in key states Biden won, or to replace Biden electors with Trump electors — likely citing assertions that the election results were plagued by some type of fraud.
But up to this point, Trump’s lawsuits have had little success. Republican state officials involved in the counts have insisted they’ve found no fraud, and there are no solid plans among GOP state legislators to change the outcome. To assess whether Trump’s ploy to overturn the election results is successful, keep an eye on whether any of these change in the coming weeks.”