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+  Atlas Forum
|-+  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
| |-+  Presidential Election Process (Moderator: muon2)
| | |-+  Certificates of Ascertainment
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Author Topic: Certificates of Ascertainment  (Read 232 times)
Figs
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« on: July 25, 2018, 11:17:25 am »

In the electoral college process, a key step is the drafting and transmission of Certificates of Ascertainment. Those certificates serve to make official who the designated electors are from each state.

Here's my question: what if a state refused to prepare theirs?

Let's play out a scenario. Say the presidential election results in 2020 are the same as in 2016, with the exception that MI/WI/PA go as narrowly for the Democrat as they did for Trump in 2016. Suppose, then, that Scott Walker uses Trump's allegations that Russia would intervene in the election as reason to not certify his state's election results. Without Wisconsin's electoral votes, neither candidate would have 270. Would this throw the election to the House? Would some other authority compel Wisconsin to certify its results? Who would that be?

There would obviously be a court case if something like this happened. Would it be ruled that states have the right to refuse to certify in the event of what they argue are ambiguous results?
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 01:15:35 pm »

This I believe did happen in 1876
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Figs
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 06:52:28 pm »

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/why-today-is-a-critical-day-in-the-2016-presidential-election

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The 1887 law says that Congress must initially accept electors approved by the state before the safe-harbor deadline. If there is no certificate of ascertainment from a state, the House and Senate must agree on a slate of electors to accept. If they don’t agree, then the governor of the state in question makes the final decision.

Interesting. So it potentially wouldn’t even take a court case for it to happen.
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