WATCH: Biden electors to convene at noon for vote in Pennsylvania’s capital
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s 20 members of the Electoral College will convene in a Harrisburg auditorium on Monday to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, whose win in the state last month helped propel him to victory in the 2020 presidential contest.
The electors are meeting in a building near the Capitol, as their assembly was moved from the state House floor and restrictions on guests have been added, prompted by the pandemic. Similar meetings are being held across the country.
The Pennsylvania Electoral College ceremony begins at noon and will be livestreamed. After the votes for Biden for president, the electors are then scheduled to vote for Kamala Harris for vice president. It’s expected to take an hour or less.
The 20 Biden electors include county, city and statewide elected officials, among them Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Scranton Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti.
The state House Democratic whip, Jordan Harris, is an elector, along with labor leaders, an elections lawyer, former state Sen. Connie Williams and the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, Nancy Patton Mills.
Janet Diaz Temin, a medical analyst from Lancaster and an elector for the first time, said Saturday she is particularly looking forward to voting for Harris.
“I’m excited that it’s a good team, it’s like a very diverse team,” she said. “But as a woman and a woman of color, of course I’m excited that Kamala Harris is going to be vice president.”
The electors’ ballots will be forwarded to Congress, where they will be read into the record by Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6. Biden’s inauguration is Jan. 20.
Trump loyalists could try to send their own electoral votes to Congress without the backing of any state authority or certification, and a Trump elector, Lou Barletta, said Saturday that is possible in Pennsylvania. If that happens, under federal law, Congress must determine which electoral votes count.
Messages were left with the state Republican Party chairperson, Lawrence Tabas, and his spokesperson on Monday.
Republican members of the U.S. House have indicated they will object to slates of Biden electors from Pennsylvania and other states on Jan. 6. To force a two-hour debate on a state’s electors, any senator must also sign paperwork formally objecting.
Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania has no law requiring electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote. Pennsylvania, however, lets the winning candidate select the electors, and in recent weeks many of the Biden electors have flatly rejected any suggestion they might not vote for him.