House Democrats tried to object to electoral votes from multiples states
Every House member who rose to object did so without a senator's signature
Vice President Joe Biden presided over a joint session of Congress Friday, where members officially tallied electoral votes from the 2016 presidential election. President-elect Donald Trump’s 304 electoral votes weren’t counted without incident, however. During the course of the certification, House Democrats tried to object to electoral votes from multiples states, with Biden gaveling them down for failure to follow the rules.
Objections to the votes needed to be in writing and signed by both a member of the House and a member of the Senate. Every House member who rose to object did so without a senator’s signature.
1:09 P.M. ET: Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts rose to object to the certificate from Alabama.
“The electors were not lawfully certified, especially given the confirmed and illegal activities engaged by the government of Russia,” McGovern said.
Biden denied McGovern on the grounds that he didn’t have a senator’s signature on his written objection.
1:14 P.M.: Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland rose to object to 10 of Florida’s 29 electoral votes.
“They violated Florida’s prohibition against dual office holders,” Raskin said.
Again, despite the fact that Raskin pointed out that he had his objection in writing, he failed to get a senator’s signature.
1:15 P.M.: No sooner had the Florida question been settled than its neighbor to the north was the subject of another objection, when Washington’s Rep. Pramila Jayapal objected to Georgia’s vote certificate.
“It is over,” Biden told the congresswoman.
1:21 P.M.: Rep. Barbara Lee of California brought up voting machines and Russian hacking when she objected following the counting of Michigan’s votes.
“People are horrified by the overwhelming evidence of Russian interference in our election,” Lee said.
Once again, her objection was denied for the lack of a senator’s signature. They also turned off her microphone.
1:23 P.M.: After New York’s tally was read, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas stood up to object.
“I object on the massive voter suppression that included –” Jackson Lee began.
“The debate is not in order,” Biden interrupted. Again, the congresswoman lacked a senator’s signature.
1:28 P.M.: Arizona’s Rep. Raul Grijalva rose to object after North Carolina’s tally. He tried to object on violations of the Voting Rights Act, but Biden shut him down.
As you may have guessed, he didn’t have the signature of a senator.
Once he gave up, Jackson Lee tagged him out and tried to object to the votes herself. They cut off her microphone, too.
“There is no debate. There is no debate. There is no debate,” a visibly agitated Biden said as he gaveled.
1:31 PM: Jackson Lee made another appearance minutes later after South Carolina’s certification.
“There is no debate in the joint session,” Biden said, shutting her down once more.
1:36 PM: Biden must have thought, after five minutes of peace and getting through the state of West Virginia, that the House members might observe the rules. Lee wasn’t even able to make it through her objection before Biden said, “There is no debate.”
They cut off her microphone again.
1:37 PM: Wisconsin’s votes had been read. With just Wyoming to go, the finish line was in reach.
Jackson Lee once again tried to make an objection on the grounds of Russian interference in the election.
“The objection cannot be received,” Biden said.
1:38 PM: The final state’s votes had been read. Then entered California Rep. Maxine Waters.
Taking a play from her own book – she objected to the certification of George W. Bush’s 2000 election – Waters admitted that she didn’t have a senator’s signature on her objection.
“I wish to ask: Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection?” Waters asked. Through House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chuckle and boos from the rest of the chamber, it was clear that there was not.
1:40 PM: The states were counted, but three protestors started yelling from the visitors’ gallery of the chamber. At least one of them was reciting the Constitution as he was taken away by security.
Biden did not look thrilled.
But at the end of the day, despite the objections, Trump’s election was certified by Congress.