Election

Another official move in America's sometimes-convoluted presidential election process takes place Monday as the electors of the Electoral College cast their votes.

It's one of the final steps in picking a president, but who are these electors and how do they get selected?

It begins and ends with loyalty — loyalty to state and national parties. That in part is how the candidates are all but guaranteed to have the electors' votes match the ballots cast by regular people in general election voting in each state.

Who are they and who picks them?

Updated at 4:53 a.m. ET Saturday

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday night rejected an eleventh hour challenge to Joe Biden's election as president.

The court's action came in a one-page order, which said the complaint was denied "for lack of standing."

Updated 1:06 p.m. CST

President Donald Trump lost a Wisconsin lawsuit Friday seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots and overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, the latest in a string of legal defeats.

Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek ruled against every argument Trump made challenging ballots in the state's two largest counties, saying the election was properly administered and there was no wrongdoing as the president alleged.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is expressing doubts about a state legislative hearing scheduled for Friday. Two Republican-led committees plan to take invited testimony on the Nov. 3 election. 

Official results show Presiden-elect Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by about 21,000 votes over President Donald Trump. But repeatedly in court and now in the Legislature, some in the GOP are questioning the result.

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A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit that sought to decertify Democrat President-elect Joe Biden's win over Republican President Donald Trump in Arizona, marking another failed attempt to reverse Biden’s victory in the state.

Judge Diane Humetewa said Wednesday that the lawsuit’s allegations “are sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence” and that the relief it sought was extraordinary. “If granted, millions of Arizonans who exercised their individual right to vote in the 2020 General Election would be utterly disenfranchised," Humetewa wrote.

Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Updated 2:15 p.m. CST

Election experts scoffed this week when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he would be filing a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against four key states in an attempt to block presidential electors from finalizing Joe Biden's election victory.

But now President Trump and 17 states he carried are joining that effort.

Officials in the states targeted in the suit — Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — derided it as nothing more than an unfounded publicity stunt.

A solid majority of Americans trust that the results of the 2020 presidential election are accurate, but only about a quarter of Republicans do, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

Sixty-one percent say they trust the results, including two-thirds of independents, but just 24% of Republican respondents say they accept the results.

Updated 6:30 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an effort to overturn the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, signaling the high court would not go along with President Trump's unprecedented efforts to win another term despite a decisive defeat in the popular vote and Electoral College.

The lawsuit was brought by Republican Rep. Mike Kelly, who argued a 2019 state law authorizing universal mail-in voting is unconstitutional and that all ballots cast by mail in the general election in Pennsylvania should be thrown out.

Doug Mills / GETTY IMAGES

President Donald Trump and his allies say their lawsuits aimed at subverting the 2020 election and reversing his loss to Joe Biden would be substantiated, if only judges were allowed to hear the cases.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

It may come and go without much fanfare, but on Tuesday, the U.S. will pass a key deadline cementing President-elect Joe Biden's victory as the 46th president.

The day, Dec. 8, is known as the "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their results, compelling Congress to accept those results.

Most Americans see Election Day as the end of the long political season aimed at choosing new federal leadership, but it's really only the beginning.

Bill Turner knew he had a tough job. He took over as acting director of voter services in Chester County, Pa., in September, just two months before a divisive presidential election amid a pandemic. Huge voter turnout was expected, and COVID-19 required election managers like Turner to handle mail-in ballots on a scale they'd never seen and confront the threat of their staffers becoming sick.

Eric Kleppe-Montenegro / Wisconsin Watch

This article is made possible through Votebeat, a nonpartisan reporting project covering local election integrity and voting access.

Erin Schaff / Getty Images

A judge hearing President Donald Trump's federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Democrat Joe Biden's win in Wisconsin said Friday that the president's request to “remand” the case to the GOP-controlled Legislature to pick new electors was “bizarre.”

Doug Mills / Getty Images

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, saying the case must first wind its way through lower courts.

The legal defeat was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities.

Pool / Getty Images

President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn Wisconsin's election results by tossing ballots only from the state's two most heavily Democratic counties is an “assault on democracy,” attorneys for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said in filings with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In a contest with historic turnout, President-elect Joe Biden topped President Trump by nearly 7 million votes, and 74 votes in the Electoral College, but his victory really was stitched together with narrow margins in a handful of states.

The Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread fraud in this year's election, Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday in remarks that directly contradict the President Trump's baseless claims that the vote was rigged.

Trump has refused to concede his election loss to Joe Biden and instead has pushed unfounded allegations of systemic fraud to claim the vote was stolen. His lawyers have failed to provide evidence in court to back up the claims and conspiracy theories the president has propagated on Twitter.

Becca Schimmel

Republicans on Tuesday called for the Democratic chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission to resign, expressing anger that she finalized the state's presidential election results showing Democrat Joe Biden defeating President Donald Trump.

>>Wisconsin Confirms Joe Biden As Winner Following Recount

Erin Schaff / Getty Images

Updated Wednesday 7:53 a.m. CST

President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Wisconsin seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state's two most Democratic counties, a longshot attempt to overturn Joe Biden's win in the battleground state he lost by nearly 20,700 votes.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s victory in battleground Wisconsin was confirmed Monday following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over President Donald Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The recount of votes cast during the presidential election concluded in Milwaukee County Friday evening and in Dane County Sunday morning. The final tally shows, once again, that President-elect Joe Biden handily won the primarily Democratic counties over incumbent President Donald Trump. The Biden-Harris ticket picked up a net total of 87 votes.

The breakdown in Dane County showed Democrat Biden losing 91 votes, bringing his total to 260,094. Republican Trump was down 46 votes in the county, bringing his total to 78,754. The net effect was a loss of 45 votes for Biden.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The recount of votes cast during the presidential election concluded in Milwaukee County Friday evening, and the final tally shows, once again, that President-elect Joe Biden won the primarily Democratic county over incumbent President Donald Trump.

The count started last Friday. Biden gained 257 votes in Milwaukee County, bringing his total to 317,527. Trump gained 125 votes, bringing his total to 134,482. Dane County’s recount will continue into the weekend.

Scott Olson / GETTY IMAGES

The Wisconsin election recount is continuing in Milwaukee and Dane counties, but officials say uninformed observers are obstructing the process. It’s also slow moving because President Donald Trump’s attorneys have been making unsubstantiated claims of fraud. In part, these issues may stem from a bigger issue facing the recount process — rampant misinformation.

Scott Olson / GETTY IMAGES

Updated 11:55 a.m. CST

Nearly 400 absentee ballots cast in Milwaukee that were not opened on Election Day were discovered as part of a recount Tuesday, a mistake the city's top elections official attributed to human error.

Democrat Joe Biden won Wisconsin by 20,600 votes and President Donald Trump paid for a recount in just Milwaukee and Dane counties — the counties with the most votes for Biden.

The 386 uncounted ballots were found on the fourth day of the recount.

Updated on Tuesday at 12:25 p.m. ET

Joe Biden's administration can formally begin its transition to power after a previously little-known federal agency on Monday ascertained Biden as the apparent winner of the election more than two weeks after the Democrat became president-elect.

The awaited decision from the General Services Administration provides the incoming Biden team with federal resources and access to agencies.

Updated at 8:21 p.m. ET

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted Monday to certify the state's election results after weeks of attempts by President Trump, the outgoing Republican nominee, to overturn his opponent's victory. Three members voted in favor of certification, and one abstained.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wisconsin's partial presidential recount entered its fourth day Monday, with very few changes in vote totals as President Donald Trump's attorneys appeared to be focused on a legal challenge seeking to toss tens of thousands of ballots, including the one cast by an attorney for the campaign.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

Most Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to suggest that President Trump concede the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. They argue that it's best to let Trump expend his legal options before they apply too much pressure.

That pressure has been building and it could be about to go bust this week, with key states certifying the vote totals and making their results official.

Becca Schimmel / WUWM

Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.

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