The Electoral College: what happens once all the ballots are counted?

Posted at 8:39 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 21:39:10-05

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — When voters go to the polls, the common though is they're going to elect a president. It's a bit more complicated; you're actually voting for electors who will cast ballots for the president.

Unofficial results show Joe Biden has won Wisconsin, which means Democratic electors like Khary Penebaker, representative of Wisconsin for the Democratic National Committee, are getting ready to cast their votes.

"None of us expected a win," said Penebaker. "All of us worked to make sure we got one. We want to make sure that we earned these votes."

Penebaker will be one of the state's 10 Democratic electors this year, if the state stays blue.

"Trying to do a recount here in Wisconsin is going to be fruitless," he said. "So I expect this is going to go the way that it should."

In about two-thirds of states, electors are legally required to stay true to their party when they vote.

"Earlier this year the supreme court weighed in on this unanimously, ruling that they are," said Adav Noti, Senior Director of Trial Litigation and Chief of Staff for Campaign Legal Center.

Wisconsin is one of those states that does not have this law. In 2016, a few electors across the country went rogue, although Noti doesn't think what happened then will repeat itself this year.

"Deviations are exceedingly rare, and I think this year they're going to be nonexistent," he said. The party and the candidates were much more careful this time in choosing folks who would cast the votes appropriately."

Traditionally, electors will meet in person in mid-December, but with a global pandemic going on, that seems unlikely, said Penebaker.

"I don't know how that's going to be facilitated with the pandemic," said Penebaker. "As Democrats, we listen to the scientists and the doctors and those that are telling us if it's okay to meet in person or not, so we will be told at some point coming up pretty soon."