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Congress Certifies 2016 Election Results

The long slog that was the 2016 election finally came to an end on Friday, after Congress, meeting in a joint session, formally certified President-elect Donald Trump's victory.

WASHINGTON (CN) - The long slog that was the 2016 election finally came to  an end on Friday, after Congress, meeting in a joint session, formally certified President-elect Donald Trump's victory.

Vice President Joe Biden, as president of the Senate, led the final count. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also presided. Though no major kerfuffle was expected to take place, several Democratic House representatives offered their objections to the results.

The objections fell on deaf ears as Biden banged the gavel, calling the floor to order. At each objection, he reminded the joint session that no debate would be had on the floor and that no objection would be considered without support from at least one senator, per congressional rules.

"It is over," Biden said, to thunderous applause from Republicans.

Only few objections were heard. As the count wound down and before leaving the floor, Rep. Maxine Waters begged senators for their support.

"Is there one U.S. senator who will join me? Just one?" the California democrat asked the crowd.

Waters was quieted with calls to "order" by Republicans. Only House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, seated across from Waters, clapped her hands in a show of support for the objection.

Most objections arose from allegations of Russian interference in the election and charges of voter suppression. Earlier this week, attorneys who evaluated the votes claimed that nearly 50 were invalid: at the time they cast their ballot, the attorneys discovered that some electors did not live in the congressional district they represented.

Despite the allegations and objections, without support from a House representative and senator, no change the final tally is possible.

In addition to Rep. Waters, Democrats Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Jamie Raskin of Maryland attempted to contest the votes.

Moments of rank-breaking were sparse in the run up to Friday’s confirmation. Only two Republican electors were faithless to their party’s nominee. Just four Democratic electors gave former secretary of state Hillary Clinton the slip. Otherwise known as faithless electors, each  will be fined $1,000.

Per House rules, Congress tallied votes from each state. Four vote counters, two from the House and two from the Senate, declared the results. Traditionally, room for debate is made if there is question over results from a specific state. Even with a dispute, all ballots must be jointly contested by a member of the House and a member of the Senate. If no resolution can be met, another debate is held. Only then can all members come together and vote to accept or reject a state's results.

Upon their reconvening, should a president-elect hold on to 270 votes, victory is declared as it was on Friday.

President-elect Trump ultimately secured a runaway electoral lead over the former secretary of state, 304 to 227 in November. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote handily, beating the billionaire businessman by nearly 3 million votes.

As Biden began to wrap up the session, some objections echoed through the chambers. Three protestors, reportedly of a protest collective, Democracy Spring, began shouting down to the floor.

Apprehended within only moments and escorted outside, one protestors shouted as he went, "Donald Trump as commander in chief is a threat."

Categories / Government, Politics

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