This Wednesday (Jan. 6th), Congress will gather to certify the results of the November 3rd election and declare Joe Biden the winner based on election results and the vote of the Electoral College. Normally, when this happens every four years, it's just a formality; but this year is different.
Many Trump supporters will also gather--for a protest in Washington, DC, and although several Republican Senators and over 125 GOP members of the US House plan to object, there is no possible way for their effort to declare the election null and void to succeed.
In a statement on Saturday, the 11 Senators who have said they'll vote not to accept the results of the election and the Electoral College vote called for an electoral commission to be created to conduct an "emergency 10-day audit" of presidential election results in "disputed states," although they didn't specify what states those were.
This Presidential election isn't the first one ever disputed. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2016 election, but Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote based on carrying enough states for victory. In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, but George W. Bush was declared the winner in a Supreme Court decision after questions were raised about ballot irregularities in Florida. In the 1876 presidential election. Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, but returns from Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, and Oregon were in dispute. The southern tallies were particularly controversial. Both Tilden and Hayes electors submitted votes from those three states. A compromise was reached that gave the Presidency to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. In exchange, the federal government ended Reconstruction in the South and the rights of black voters weren't restored until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
According to Breitbart News, the planned political rally on Wednesday, has Washington officials concerned about possible violence. Several of the members of Congress who will vote not to accept the Electoral College vote are expected to speak, and President Trump has urged his supporters to attend.
Property damage to the city is a concern, owing to outbreaks of violence during previous political demonstrations across America. Some hotels, bars, and other businesses have decided to shut down temporarily to prevent damage due to violence. Whether or not violence occurs depends on who attends the event. If extremist groups decide to provoke violence, it is then likely to occur.
Any decision not to accept the Electoral College vote would have to be approved by both the US Senate and US House. Democrats have a majority in the House, and several Republicans in the Senate have spoken out against the movement being led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Both North Carolina Senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, have said they'll vote to accept the Electoral College's decision.
Neither Patrick McHenry, who represents the 10th District which includes Lincoln & Catawba counties, and Virginia Foxx, who represents the 9th, which includes Gaston & Cleveland counties, has issued any statement on how they'll vote. North Carolina representatives who have said they'll vote not to accept the Electoral College vote include newly elected GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of the 11th district, which includes half of Rutherford County, Polk, McDowell & Avery and stretches to the southwestern tip of North Carolina, has said he'll vote not to accept it, as will Rep. Ted Budd of the 13th district. Alma Adams, Kathy Manning, Deborah Ross, David Price and G.K. Butterfield, the Democrats from NC, will vote for certification. Reps. David Rouzer and Greg Murphy, like McHenry & Foxx, have issued no public statement.
Several Republican senators have criticized the plans to object to the certification. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned against acquiescing to Trump's demands. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, and former GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, now a Senator from Utah, also said they'll vote for certification, saying the protest would set "a dangerous precedent."