Electoral Count Act

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Electoral Count Act of 1887, Pub.L. 49–90, 24 Stat. 373, establishes the process in Congress by which the Electoral College votes are counted to elect a president every four years in the United States.

Among other provisions, this law provides that when there are rival sets of electors appointed by a state, a majority in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate may block the inclusion of those votes in the final tally, whenever there is an alternative, rival slate of electors (as there is in connection with the United States presidential election, 2020).

The incumbent Vice President presides over the Joint Sessions of Congress on one afternoon in the first week of January following the presidential election (e.g., January 6, 2021). While the Act states that he should cut off debate after two hours, in practice the presiding Chairman in parliamentary procedure could allow debate as long as he likes.

A lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on December 28, 2020, to declare the Electoral Count Act of 1887 unconstitutional.[1] While the Electoral Count Act says a majority vote in the US House of its members can rule on objections, the 12th Amendment orders the vote in the US House to made by its State delegations.[2] The plaintiffs include Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and the defendant is Vice President Mike Pence, who presides over the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021, to consider certifying the Electoral College for the president to be inaugurated on January 20. The suit was dismissed by the judge on January 1, 2021.[3]

See also

  • [1] (3 U.S. Code §16)


  1. Kruzel, John (December 28, 2020). GOP lawmaker sues Pence in bid to overturn Biden win. The Hill. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  2. http://rutgerspolicyjournal.org/sites/jlpp/files/Land_Schultz.pdf
  3. Jess Bravin (January 1, 2021). "Judge Dismisses Effort to Derail Count of Electors' Votes". wsj.com. Retrieved on January 2, 2021.