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Electoral college meets in Lansing on Monday

Maxim Jenkins

On Monday, Michigan’s 16 electoral votes will be formally awarded to President-elect Joe Biden in a ceremony at the state Capitol. Other US states and territories also convene their electoral colleges today.Most legal challenges – including one filed by the state of Texas – have failed. Demonstrations in Lansing are expected, but they won’t change the result. Michigan law requires electors to cast their votes for the winner of the November election.

The Democratic ticket of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris won Michigan with a total of 2.8 million votes – a margin of 154,188 votes.

The possibility of rogue electors is also unlikely because the roster was chosen by the Michigan Democratic Party prior to the election.

The Michigan State Police would not discuss plans for security, except to say law enforcement is prepared to ensure the health and safety of participants. Those include the 16 electors, alternates, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and the staff necessary to record and process the votes and paperwork.

The Capitol itself will be closed to the general public. Electors, alternates, and a handful of guests and observers are expected to abide by mask and distancing requirements as well as submit to a temperature check. The 2 p.m. event in the Michigan Senate chamber will be streamed online. From start to finish, the process is expected to take less than an hour.

This is the second-to-last step in the process before the electoral votes from across the country will be formally presented to a joint session of Congress on January 6th . The Biden-Harris inauguration ceremony is January 20th.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.