States send Certificates of Ascertainment - the list of electors - to the Federal Register through December 13.
Electors meet in each state to vote for president and vice president. Most meet at their respective state capitols.
By this date, votes must reach the president of the Senate and the archivist.
Congress meets in joint session to count and announce the vote.
No candidate wins majority
Newly elected House picks president from top three Electoral College vote-getters.
Newly elected Senate chooses vice president from top two Electoral College vote-getters.
Timeline: Congressional intervention
An elector bucks system
In 26 states and Washington D.C., laws require electors to follow the popular vote.
Some states threaten penalties for "faithless electors." No one has ever been prosecuted.
Details: Rules and regulations