The "great" election of 2016 is finally coming to a close — almost. On Dec. 19, the nation moved one step closer to inaugurating President-elect Donald Trump when the nation's 538 electors met in their respective state capitols to formally cast their votes for president and vice president. But we won't have a final tally of how the Electoral College actually voted until Jan. 6, 2017, when Congress meets in joint session to formally record the electoral votes. And who will announce the final Electoral College vote-count?
None other than the President of the Senate, better known as Vice President Joe Biden, will be in charge of the task. According to the National Archives:
"The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States."
Although November's shocking election has prompted legitimate concerns about Trump's fitness to serve as commander-in-chief, the harsh reality is that calls for "faithless electors" to reject Trump and install some other, more mainstream Republican have come up short. While the final electoral vote count won't be confirmed until Biden gavels the joint session on Jan. 6, it appears that Trump did secure the needed 270 electoral votes to ascend to the presidency.
And despite Trump's false claims that he won the Electoral College (and the popular vote) in a "landslide," preliminary reports about the actual electoral vote count suggest differently. According to the numbers, Trump's margin of victory ranked 46th out of the 58 electoral votes this country has conducted.
All of this means that the outgoing administration will also be forced to certify the results of an election that handed power to a party who expressly said their goal on day one in office is to "erase the Obama presidency." That especially frustrating seeing as Obama has met with Trump and has likely given him some tip and pointers for how to be president. But for his part, President Obama, as always, has been poised and graceful about the transition of power. It remains to be seen whether the more-often-outspoken vice president we affectionately call "Uncle Joe" will at least register his presumed displeasure at the election's outcome. We certainly wouldn't mind a not-so-subtle side-eye, or maybe even a renewed invitation for Trump to meet Biden "behind the gym."