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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Can Trump take electoral votes away from Biden, despite losing in ‘winner take all’ states?

Here’s what the Suffolk community has to say
James Bartlett
Trump supporters sit on risers at a Trump rally in Londonderry, N.H., in summer 2020.

President-elect Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the presidential race, but President Donald Trump has yet to officially acknowledge his loss, claiming that states can hand their electoral votes to him instead of Biden. 

Dr. Rachel Cobb, chair of political science and legal studies at Suffolk University, explained how Trump’s claims are false. 

Every state, except Maine and Nebraska, specify in its laws that the winner of the statewide popular vote is entitled to the state’s presidential electors,” said Cobb. “State legislatures have the power to set ‘the manner’ by which electors are chosen, the Constitution also gives Congress the power to decide the day on which electors are to be appointed.”

Maine and Nebraska apportion some electors by congressional district. 

“What Trump is talking about is called faithless electors, and it is when a state gives away electoral votes against how the popular vote went,” said Marley Belanger, a student at Suffolk University studying government with a concentration of international relations. 

Cobb explained that on Dec. 14, the Electoral College will meet and send their votes to Congress. On Jan. 6, Congress will have a special joint session to “officially declare President-elect Biden the winner.”

“Biden needs 50 votes in the Senate to officially declare him the winner,” Cobb said. “The two Georgia Senate seats will be empty, so Biden needs 50, not 51.”

On Jan. 6, 48 Democratic senators and 51 Republican senators will meet. Cobb said that four Republican senators have already congratulated President-Elect Biden, so it is almost certain they will vote with Democrats. 

Trump continues to cast doubt on the outcome of the election 

Hopefully the Courts and/or Legislatures will have the COURAGE to do what has to be done to maintain the integrity of our Elections, and the United States of America itself,” he tweeted on Nov. 21.

Trump’s November 21 tweet

Trump’s tweet had no factual evidence to support his claim because there has been no findings of widespread fraudulent voting, despite multiple failed attempts by his legal team to challenge the validity of ballots in multiple states throughout the country.

Eleanor Roth, a Suffolk University student studying legal studies and government with a concentration in international relations, is frustrated by Trump’s actions. 

“This is just mindless followers who are not educating themselves and are holding on to the very last possibility of Trump winning.  It is a disgusting effort to hand Trump the win despite a democratically fair election,” said Roth. 

On Nov. 23, the General Services Administration announced that a formal transition will begin. 

Even with Trump’s pushback in key states, Michigan certified their election results on Nov. 23. The next day, Nov. 24, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state certified Biden as the winner with more than an 80,000 vote lead across the state.

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About the Contributors
Savanna Nolau, Staff Writer | she/her
Savanna is a junior majoring in international relations and minoring in journalism. She is from The Berkshires, the western most county in Massachusetts, and loves spending time outside, especially during summer and winter months. Recently, her greatest interests include TikTok and all things politics. Savanna would love her future career to be in politics whether that is lobbying, holding public office, or writing for the politics section of a newspaper.
James Bartlett, Multimedia Editor | he/him
James Bartlett is a senior studying print and web journalism. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, James has a strong interest in photojournalism and new journalism tools such as podcasting and user-generated content. James is currently a Web Journalist at WHDH Channel 7 and has previously worked at and the Newburpoty Daily News. Follow James on Twitter @James_bartlett8 Email him at [email protected]

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Can Trump take electoral votes away from Biden, despite losing in ‘winner take all’ states?