President Donald Trump has still not conceded his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, but his attempt to reverse the election results erupted last week.
The lawsuits of the Trump campaign and its allies have failed. The main swing states that Biden won confirmed their results on time. And the GOP lawmakers don't seem to be trying seriously to disrupt voter nomination.
Trump, of course, is still trying his best to cast doubt on the results by making false claims about large-scale electoral fraud. His latest gimmick is his legal team working with sympathetic Republican lawmakers in key states to hold press events highlighting alleged electoral irregularities. But no GOP-controlled legislature in a state won by Biden appears to be making serious efforts to reverse the outcome (a move that would create many practical and legal obstacles).
However, the deadline for finalizing the results by federal law is December 8 through Tuesday of the next week. Then the members of the electoral college meet (separately in each state) to cast their votes on December 14, two weeks from today. They will cast the votes that will officially make Biden the next president. And Trump has not yet managed to disrupt this process.
State certifications are on schedule
There were six major swing states that Biden won with small profit margins that Trump had hoped to compromise certification of results (certification is when a state makes its results official).
Four of those six states – Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada – have confirmed their results in the past week and a half, with Biden winning. The fifth, Arizona, confirmed Biden's win this Monday. In the sixth, Wisconsin, the electoral board finished the canvas this Monday.
Trump made political, procedural, and legal attempts to delay or compromise these certifications, but those efforts have consistently failed.
Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger opposed attempts by the Trump team to get him to support fictional claims of widespread electoral fraud in the state. In Michigan last week, Trump allies' attempts to get two Republicans on the State Board of Canvassers to block certification for similar reasons (one of whom supported this) failed last week.
In most other states, Democrats were the primary responsible for certifying the results, so Trump could only hope a judge will step in and block the certification. Nobody has – so the Trump team's lawsuits have failed.
Recounts did not change the result either. Wisconsin's two counties recount is complete, and Biden's lead of approximately 20,000 votes has been increased by 87 votes. The recount of new machines in Georgia is ongoing, but Biden's lead of 12,000 votes is not expected to change as the ballot papers have already been hand-checked.
No state parliament is seriously trying to steal the election for Trump
After states confirm their results, the next step in the process is to nominate voters. And that's the key – the voters are the 538 people who make up the electoral college and cast the votes that will officially determine the next president.
If Biden wins a state, he is entitled to have his selected group of people nominated as voters for that state.
However, some Republicans have accepted the theory that the Constitution empowers state lawmakers to ignore the outcome of the vote in their states and instead appoint whoever they want.
Any attempt to do this would violate various state and arguably federal laws. In essence, lawmakers would argue that the power given them by the Constitution enables them to ignore these existing laws.
Some GOP lawmakers have actually voted in favor, such as Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano (who met with Trump last week before abruptly leaving the meeting after being told he tested positive for Covid-19).
There is growing evidence that the PA's presidential election was compromised. If so, Article II, Section 1.2 of the US Constitution gives the legislature sole power to determine the manner in which delegates are selected to the electoral college. (1)
– Senator Doug Mastriano (@SenMastriano) November 28, 2020
But GOP lawmakers have not endorsed this effort, and most have said outright that they will not. Pennsylvania lawmakers have no plans to put this on their legislative agenda. And Michigan Republican leaders left a meeting with Trump earlier this month, saying they would "obey the law and follow the normal process regarding Michigan voters".
And while Trump's legal team has been working with Allied lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Arizona for the past few days to hold alleged "hearings" on electoral irregularities, these were not official hearings – they were essentially press stunts.
With neither certification officials nor Republican lawmakers willing to steal the election for Trump, the president's attempt to do just that appears dead in the water.
Are you helping keep Vox free for everyone?
Millions of people rely on Vox to understand how Washington policy choices, from health care to unemployment to housing, can affect their lives. Our work is well-sourced, research-oriented, and thorough. And that kind of work requires resources. Even after the economy recovers, advertising alone will never be enough to support it. If you've already contributed to Vox, thank you. If you don't, you are helping us keep our journalism free for everyone by contributing as little as $ 3 today.