What to expect with Georgia’s Electoral College vote

Shortly after noon on Monday, Georgia’s 16 electors will cast their ballots for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, formally sealing the former vice president’s win in Georgia and marking the first time since 1992 a Democratic White House hopeful carried the state.

The oft-overlooked process, which will also play out in every other state and the District of Columbia, is magnified this year as President Donald Trump continues making false claims of widespread fraud as he tries to undermine Biden’s incoming administration.

ExploreUpdate: Georgia casts its 16 electoral votes for Joe Biden

The president and his allies had sought to block Monday’s electoral vote in Georgia and three other battleground states where he lost the election, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected that lawsuit from Texas on Friday.

Georgia officials have certified and re-certified election results after three separate tallies of roughly 5 million votes. State elections officials say there’s no evidence of widespread fraud, and judges at every level have dismissed lawsuits seeking to overturn the results in Georgia and elsewhere.

‘Full circle.’ Electoral College vote in Georgia is a major moment in state politics

Trump and some of his allies still refuse to acknowledge Biden’s win. Over the weekend, the president continued to level attacks at Gov. Brian Kemp, upset that the Republican he endorsed in 2018 has rejected his demand for a special session to illegally undo Biden’s roughly 12,000-vote lead.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan has warned Trump’s refusal to concede could deal long-term damage to the GOP, while other state Republicans worry the mixed messages – encouraging supporters to trust an election system the president says is “rigged” – will dampen turnout in the Jan. 5 runoffs for U,S. Senate control.

Faith shaken in system, some Georgia Trump supporters consider skipping vote

U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue both backed the Texas lawsuit and called for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign, moves their allies hope will ward off blowback from the president and his loyalists for not taking more extreme steps to reverse his loss.

But the Electoral College votes, one of the final steps in the process finalizing Biden’s victory, will intensify the pressure on them and other Republicans to acknowledge Trump’s defeat. Next, the votes must be counted and authorized by Congress on Jan. 6. Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Georgia’s 16 electors are some of the party’s biggest names, including former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and U.S. Rep.-elect Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the party. The group also includes local activists, rising party stars, long-serving lawmakers and newly-elected officials.

Meet Georgia’s 16 Democratic electors

State Rep. Calvin Smyre, the dean of the Legislature, is the veteran of the bunch. He was the only of the 16 electors to have also cast a ballot the last time a Democrat won Georgia, in 1992 when Bill Clinton carried the state.

Each elector will cast two separate paper ballots – one for the presidency and one for the vice presidency. The electors will then count the votes for each candidate and create six separate certificates listing the results for the two offices, which are sent to state and federal officials.

Biden will cap the day with an 8 p.m. address from Wilmington, Delaware, about the “vote certification and the strength and resilience of our democracy.” He’s then set to travel on Tuesday to Atlanta, where he will stump for Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.