POLITICS

‘An outpouring of hope’: Joe Biden addresses Americans after election victory (Video)

There’s been a lot of congratulations from world leaders sent to president-elect Joe Biden, not all quite as barbed as those from Iran.

Reuters report Iranian state media quoting president Hassan Rouhani saying that the next US administration should use the opportunity to compensate for president Donald Trump’s mistakes.

“Trump’s damaging policy has been opposed…by the American people. The next US administration should use the opportunity to make up for past mistakes…Iran favours constructive interaction with the world,” Rouhani said.

There’s been a lot of congratulations from world leaders sent to president-elect Joe Biden, not all quite as barbed as those from Iran.

Reuters report Iranian state media quoting president Hassan Rouhani saying that the next US administration should use the opportunity to compensate for president Donald Trump’s mistakes.

“Trump’s damaging policy has been opposed…by the American people. The next US administration should use the opportunity to make up for past mistakes…Iran favours constructive interaction with the world,” Rouhani said.

What happens next

In the months between election day on the first Tuesday in November and inauguration day on 20 January, the transition of power passes through a few steps which always have amounted to formalities. Electors meet in each state and send their votes to congress, where the result is certified.

Despite Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen, and the decision of some prominent Republicans to support that claim, there is currently no reason to expect the transfer of power will be any different this time. Suggestions by the Trump allies that Republican-led states might appoint electors who do not represent the will of the people have been dismissed wholesale by state leaders.

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The Associated Press breaks down what happens next:

— When American citizens vote for a presidential candidate, they really are voting for electors in their state. Those electors in most cases are committed to support the voters’ candidate of choice. The number of electors is equal to the number of electoral votes held by each state. State laws vary on how electors are selected but, generally, a slate of electors for each party’s candidate is chosen at state party conventions or by a vote of a party’s central committee.

— After Election Day, states count and certify the results of the popular vote. When completed, each governor is required by law to prepare “as soon as practicable” documents known as “Certificates of Ascertainment” of the vote. The certificates list the electors’ names and the number of votes cast for the winner and loser. The certificate, carrying the seal of each state, is sent to the archivist of the United States.

— Dec. 8 is the deadline for resolving election disputes at the state level. All state recounts and court contests over presidential election results are to be completed by this date.

— Dec. 14: Electors vote by paper ballot in their respective states and the District of Columbia. Thirty-three states and D.C. have laws or party regulations requiring electors to vote the same way the popular vote goes in the state, and in some states, electors can even be replaced or subjected to penalties, according to the Congressional Research Service. The votes for president and vice president are counted and the electors sign six “Certificates of the Vote.” The certificates, along with other official papers, are sent by registered mail to various officials, including the president of the Senate.

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— Dec. 23: The certificates must be delivered to the designated officials. If they are not delivered, the law provides alternative avenues for getting the results to Washington.

— Jan. 6, 2021: The House and Senate hold a joint session to count the electoral votes. If one ticket has received 270 or more electoral votes, the president of the Senate, currently Vice President Mike Pence, announces the results.

Members of Congress may object to returns from any state as they are announced. Objections must be made in writing by at least one member of the House and one in the Senate. If the objection meets certain requirements, each chamber meets separately to debate the objection for a maximum of two hours. Afterward, each chamber votes to accept or reject the objection. Back in joint session, the results of the respective votes are announced. Any objection to a state’s electoral vote has to be approved by both houses in order for any contested votes to be excluded.

If neither presidential candidate wins at least 270 electoral votes, the House decides the election, based on the 12th Amendment to the Constitution. If required, the House would elect the president through a majority vote.

— Jan. 20: The president-elect is sworn into office on Inauguration Day.

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