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Despite Objections, Congress Certifies Donald Trump's Election

by Leigh Ann Caldwell /
Vice President Joe Biden, with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., right, watching, delcares that Congress certifies Donald Trump's presidential victory during a joint session of Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)Cliff Owen / AP

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Congress made the election of Donald Trump official Friday, certifying the votes of the Electoral College in a formal joint session of Congress.

Some Democratic House members attempted to object to some states Electoral College votes to protest the election results. But their objections went nowhere because they were unable to gain the support of a senator, per the rules.

Despite protests, the final vote tally was:

  • Donald Trump: 304 electoral votes
  • Hillary Clinton: 227
  • Colin Powell: 3
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich: 1
  • Former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas: 1
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders: 1
  • Faith of Spotted Eagle: 1

Democrats objected 11 times, citing a variety of issues, including “Russian interference,” “massive voter suppression” and the “violation of the Voting Rights Act.”

Vice President Joe Biden, who sat in the chair and presided over the 41 minute-long process in the House chamber, attempted to speed through the objections. After the third objection and the third time Biden asked if a senator had signed on, Biden said, “it is over.”

But a handful of Democratic House members continued to object during specific states and tried to continue their speeches even after Biden gaveled them down and said debate is not allowed. After the states were counted, three citizens in the audience gallery stood up to demonstrate.

At one point, Rep. Maxine Watters, D-Calif., stood and asked for a senator to join them. Only four Democratic senators attended the ceremony.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was "embarrassing" for House Democrats that they couldn't get a senator to join the protest. But he added that Republicans were prepared in case an objection succeeded.

“Senator McConnell made clear that people needed to delay their trip home in order to be here in case there was a need to vote," Cornyn said. "That's why we were all in town."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was not encouraging objections but that she would “support” them.

“I think people don’t want the day to pass without registering concerns,” she told reporters Friday. “In some cases, members are concerned about voter suppression, in some cases they are concerned about Russian influence on our election. There are a number of concerns. But it’s not going to have an impact at the end of the day.”

Every objection must be made in writing and signed by one member of the House and one senator.

In 2001, when Democrats objected after the contested election between George Bush and Vice President Al Gore, no senator joined an objection then either. During that process, Gore, as vice-president, presided over the process.

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