Michigan lawmakers plan to vote to certify election results on Wednesday; here's how it works

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Posted at 5:26 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 05:26:47-05

(WXYZ) — Congress will gather in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to certify the election results for President-elect Joe Biden, but two Michigan congressmen are planning to object to the Electoral College certification.

Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan's 7th District, which includes Monroe County, and Rep. Jack Bergman from Michigan's 1st District, both say they will join more than 100 other House Republicans and a dozen senators in voting against the certification.

The process is usually seen as a formality with Congress simply giving the formal thumbs up to results the states have already certified. But this year has been anything but usual, with unprecedented pushback and months now of unfounded claims of voter fraud, coming from the top of the Republican party.

Josh Pasek, an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, says this is not only unprecedented, but it's bad for the image of democracy.

“So normally when the Electoral College votes get to Congress, Congress puts a rubber stamp on it," Pasek said. "It’s pretty normally straightforward process where they don’t do very much because it’s not really their job to evaluate the election results it’s state Secretaries of State, it’s the job of the electors themselves, the state’s are supposed to do that.”

It works like this: Congress will go state by state to certify the results. All it takes is one objection from a representative or senator, and then they go into their respective houses for debate up to two hours. Then, a vote is taken in each chamber with a simple majority needed to go one way or the other, and with Democrats not supporting objections and many Republicans, each objection will likely fail.

Lawmakers planning to object are getting support from people like Genevieve Peters, a Trump supporter from Macomb County.

She and dozens of other local Trump voters traveled to Washington D.C. by bus.

“We will not take this fraudulent election. We will not stand down," she said.

While Walberg and Bergman plan to object, it's unclear how two other Rep. Lisa McClain will vote.

Republican Reps. Peter Meijer, Fred Upton, John Moolenar and Bill Huizenga say they will not object.

“I simply have not seen the system wide systematic fraud that has been talked about. Certainly in my district and I haven’t seen that evidence in Michigan," Huizenga said.