Electoral College Voting
The voting of the US Presidential electoral college is largely a ceremonial affair. The election isn't finally determined until Congress meets on January 6 to officially count those votes.
The United States begins the ceremonial part their Presidential election process today when the State's electoral colleges vote.
It's largely ceremonial because it isn't an election 'hard marker'. The only date where the outcome is constitutionally determined is at noon on 20 January 2021. That is when President Trump's term officially ends and the next President assumes office.
Before then there are a number of processes (like the electoral college vote) which inform the congress of the election outcome and determine the inauguration of the next President.
The electoral college process is the first post election step in that process.
While most states have laws that dictate that delegates ballot in accordance with their state's result, 17 states allow a free vote. In 2016 two delegates didn't vote for Trump while five failed to back Clinton.
Those who buck the official result are known as 'faithless voters'.
I am not sure of the origin of that term but if it means not having faith in the election result there could be plenty of them this time around!
According to a recent Rasmussen poll, nearly half of all Americans (47%) think the election was stolen from Trump. On partisan lines, that figure breaks down to 75 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats.
Unfortunately, outside of those legally required to comply, most of the electoral college are political insiders chosen for their Party service or financial support.
After the college vote, the results are officially counted during a joint session of Congress on January 6. The process is overseen by Vice President Mike Pence who will open the certificates and hand them to the tellers - two from the Senate and two from the House.
When one of the candidates receives the required 270 electoral college votes the result is declared. At that point, the election is officially decided. It is also where congress can decide whether to accept the result.
Upon a complaint jointly signed by one senator and one congressman, both houses can debate whether to accept the result but that debate is limited to two hours after which a vote is taken.
This rather convoluted process still provides the Trump team with opportunities to pursue their legal challenges but once Congress has declared the result it is very difficult to see how any court would intervene.
It has already proved difficult for the Trump team to get a reasonable judicial assessment of the mounting evidence that the election was rigged.
The statistical impossibility of ballot dumps, observer failures, breaches of State legal requirements, dead people and non-citizens voting, multiple balloters and voting machine chicanery have all been dismissed out of hand.
That likely explains why so many Americans think this election was stolen by Biden and the Democrats.
So while today's vote doesn't stop the continuing legal appeals it is a major step toward ratifying the election outcome. I'd expect the legal avenues for team Trump to be done and dusted on January 6.