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What to know about Electoral College vote count on Jan. 6

The U.S. House of Representatives chamber in Washington

The U.S. House of Representatives chamber in Washington in 2008. Credit: Getty Images / Brendan Hoffman

The final date on the electoral calendar before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20 comes Jan. 6 when Congress meets in a joint session to formally count the votes of the Electoral College.

The process, required by the U.S. Constitution, is largely ceremonial and generally occurs with little fanfare.

But with President Donald Trump continuing to falsely claim victory in the Nov. 3 election — despite dozens of legal losses that sought to overturn the outcome — and his congressional allies planning to challenge the votes in several key swing states, the certification of the electoral votes may become a spectacle.

Here's what is expected to happen and the answers to some critical questions:

How does this process work?

Can lawmakers object and attempt to challenge the election results?

Will Republicans object to the results?

Has this been done before?

Are the challenges likely to be successful?

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