Site icon The digital classroom, transforming the way we learn

Teaching what happened when congress met to count Electoral College votes

Counting the Electoral College votes?

What is the process behind this procedure and what usually happens when this is done 2 weeks before the new president is sworn in?

The congressional session is mandated by the Constitution and follows the Electoral Count Act of 1887. How objections are handled in the process:

Senate and House members meet in joint session in the House of Representatives chamber. Vice President Mike Pence, president of the Senate, is the presiding officer.

Two mahogany boxes containing sealed certificates of the electoral votes of each state and the District of Columbia are brought in.

The presiding officer opens the certificates by state alphabetical order and gives them to four tellers, officers approved by Senate and House members of both parties. Each chamber appoints two tellers.

The tellers read each certificate out loud and record and count votes. The presiding officer asks if there are any objections.

Any House or Senate member can object to the vote for any reason. The presiding officer will not respond to the objection unless:

Debate is limited to two hours. Each member may speak only once, for up to five minutes.

By simple majority, both chambers vote to accept or reject the objection. The House and Senate return to the joint session and announce results. If:

The joint session then repeats the process with the next state. Source: Usa Today

Winner announced

The electoral votes are counted, and the candidate with at least 270 wins. The presiding officer announces winners for president and vice president.

The riots

It all started here, watch the video below, or actually, it started when Joe Biden won the presidency. Because Trump has never accepted that Biden won the election.

Jamie Stiehm is a US political columnist who was in the Capitol building when it was stormed. Here’s what she saw from the press gallery in the House of Representatives:

“There was a shot. We could see there was a stand-off in our chamber. Five men were holding guns at the door. It was a frightening sight. Men were looking through a broken glass window and looked like they could shoot at any second.

Many of us are hardened journalists – I’ve seen my share of violence covering homicides in Baltimore – but this was very unpredictable.

The police didn’t seem to know what was happening. They weren’t coordinated. They locked the chamber doors but at the same time, they told us we would have to evacuate. So there was a sense of panic.

There was a sense of ‘nobody’s in charge here, the Capitol Police have lost control of the building, anything can happen.'”

Can the vice president remove the president?

What does it take to remove a president and how is it done?

Section IV reads:

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

Policy and political differences, unpopularity, poor judgment, incompetence, laziness, or impeachable conduct — none of that is intended to be covered by section IV.

The Business insider.

The 6th of January turned out to be a day that would define how the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump was sure that the vice president had the power to block congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the presidential election despite Mr. Trump’s baseless insistence that he did. Mr. Pence’s message, delivered during his weekly lunch with the president, came hours after Mr. Trump further turned up the public pressure on the vice president to do his bidding when Congress convenes Wednesday in a joint session to ratify Mr. Biden’s Electoral College win. Business insider.

It turned out to be a day that turned out very differently, and the consequences are yet to be seen.

17 members of Congress sign letter to Pence asking him to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump

Seventeen members of Congress signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging him to invoke the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from office in the wake of protests in Washington by Trump’s supporters that devolved into a violent riot inside the U.S. Capitol.

How did pro-Donald Trump protesters get into Washington DC’s heavily guarded Capitol building?

In the aftermath of this historic incident, this will be one of the issues discussed.

Donald Trump supporters in Washington DC broke into the Capitol building, attacking police, smashing windows and knocking down doors as Congress was expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win. ABC net news. 

Rioters made it into the House Chambers, where US politicians had to be evacuated, and also into the offices of some officials.

So how did they get past heavily guarded police and into the building? In the picture below you can see how security was planned during the Black lives matter demonstration.


WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES- National Guard troops deployed to the Lincoln Memorial on the eighth day of protests in Washington DC, United States on June 2, 2020. Protests continue for the death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman in Minnesota last Monday (25). Several people pointed out that in that same place Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech in 1963.


Hours after the protests began and minutes after Biden spoke, Trump, in a video posted to Twitter, falsely said, “We had an election that was stolen from us,” baselessly calling it a”fraudulent election.”
“You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order,” Trump said. “We don’t want anybody hurt.”

“I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace,” Trump said, adding: “We love you. You’re very special.” Twitter responded by saying that it’s blocking Trump’s video from being replied to, retweeted or liked “due to a risk of violence.”

Trump’s video has since been removed by Facebook.

Lesson plan

Write a commentary about the event that took place on the 6th of January and include facts about the political process. Mention all the points below.

Exit mobile version