Does The Electoral College Actually Meet? Electors In Each State Join Together To Vote On December 19
Even though Nov. 8 has come and gone, the election excitement hasn't quite dissipated yet. With the split popular vote and electoral vote, there's a lot more attention being paid to post-Election Day events than usual. That being said, you probably have some questions about the semi-mysterious workings of the Electoral College, like "Does the Electoral College actually meet?" The whole College doesn't have to meet to get its work done, so the process gets handled at the state level.
The Electoral College is more of an amorphous body than a formal group. The whole group of 538 electors never gets together, but rather the electors of each state come together to cast their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following the presidential election — in this case, December 19. The electors vote for the presidential nominee and vice presidential nominee separately, so it's possible that they could choose a different president or vice president than the ticket that won on Election Day.
This second Election Day has received a lot more attention this year than in previous years due to the continuing contentiousness of the election. Since Trump was announced as the winner, more than three and a half million people have signed a petition asking the electors to not to cast their ballots for Trump.
"Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic," reads the petition. Although the history of electors voting against the candidate that their state picked on Election Day is pretty brief, it's possible and this would be the idiosyncratic election cycle for an electoral upset to finally happen.
The next step after that is the verification of the votes during a joint session of Congress on January 6. Assuming that Trump maintains the electoral majority that he won on Election Day, he'll be officially declared the next president at that time. Until that happens, many Americans are committed to working as hard as they can to keep Trump out of the presidency. The beauty of the American electoral process is that citizens are well within their right to try and keep that from happening because the Founding Fathers designed exactly the safeguard for exactly that reason.