The Formal Process for Electing the President of the United States

TLDR After Election Day, there is a formal process for electing the President of the United States. This process includes ballot counting, canvassing, certification of election results, preparation of certificates of ascertainment, signing of certificates of vote by electors, and the counting of electoral ballots in a joint session of Congress.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 There is a formal process for the election of the President that continues after Election Day.
01:51 After the voting ends, the unofficial ballot count is done, followed by the canvassing of the election to resolve any issues with the initial count, such as absentee and provisional ballots.
03:24 After the canvassing and certification of the election results, each state must prepare a certificate of ascertainment that notes the election results, the number of votes each elector received, and the names of the electors who will be voting for president.
05:02 The certificate of ascertainment, a one-page document that looks extremely official, must be filed with the Office of the Federal Register six days before the meeting of the electors, where each elector must meet in person and sign the certificate of vote, indicating the candidate receiving that state's votes, the number of votes, the names and signatures of the electors, the signature of the Secretary of State, and the seal of the state.
06:43 The certificates of vote, which indicate the number of votes each candidate received in each state, must be sent to various officials, including the President of the U.S. Senate and the Archivist of the United States, and on January 6th, the counting of the electoral ballots will take place in a joint session of Congress.
08:24 Once the votes are read, objections can be made in writing by members of Congress, and if there is a valid objection with signatures from at least one senator and one representative, each house must debate it separately for up to two hours, but ultimately Congress does not vote to approve the electoral votes and the president of the Senate simply notes the results and adjourns the session.
10:05 The completion of the oath of office is usually under a minute from the stroke of noon, and while in practice it is administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, theoretically anyone could administer the oath of office.
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