Explainer-What to expect next in U.S. election certification

FILE PHOTO: A general view as the 117th Congress convenes at the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S., January 3, 2021. Tasos Katopodis/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - After a dramatic day of violence at the U.S. Capitol, lawmakers in the House of Representatives and the Senate were meeting early on Thursday to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

Biden's victory was expected to be certified by Congress, despite some Republicans saying they would object to the results from some of the battleground states where Democratic candidate Biden beat President Donald Trump on Nov. 3.


The approval of state tallies appeared to be accelerating to a conclusion as the morning wore on as some planned objections by Senators were abandoned after hundreds of violent Trump supporters overran the U.S. Congress in a stunning but failed effort to overthrow the election results.

While most of those results were expected to escape challenges, Sen. Josh Hawley, who has been the most vocal senator supporting Trump's claims of fraud, led a challenge to the results from Biden's victory in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would hold no further votes on the Electoral College tally, indicating that following the House vote on Pennsylvania, no further challenges would be made.

Trump and his allies have produced no evidence to support their claims that he was robbed of victory by fraud and the efforts to challenge the results look certain to fail.


The first formal objection from Trump's allies was to the election results from Arizona. After a debate, the challenge was rejected in a 93-6 vote in the Senate and a 303-121 vote in the House.

The two chambers then resumed a joint session to consider the election results in the rest of the states, in alphabetical order.

At least one member of the House and one from the Senate have to object to a state's votes in order to open the debate.

Vice President Mike Pence has made clear he will not attempt to reject any of the state election results despite being pressured to do so by Trump.

That will provide final legal ratification of the election results.

(Editing by Leela de Kretser and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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