‘Safe Harbor’ Deadline for Electors ‘Not Constitutional’, ‘Does Not Apply to Disputed States’
December 6, 2020- updated Natalie Winters
The Amistad Project, an election fraud watchdog, released a whitepaper outlining how the December 8th Electoral College deadline for the selection of electors does not apply to states with disputed election results.
Among the states with disputed election results are Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada: a total 70 of Electoral College votes.
The Amistad Project notes that the only “deadline specifically required by the Constitution is noon on January 20,” when a President’s term would end.
All other deadlines, such as the “safe harbor” deadline of December 8th, the Electoral College vote occurring on December 14th, and the congressional count on January 6th are set by federal law. Therefore, if “federal law presents an obstacle to faithfully adhering to constitutional requirements, it is necessary to disregard the statute in favor of the plain meaning of the Constitution.”
In other words, the only deadline the Constitution requires is for the election to be decided on or by January 20th.
“Moreover, these dates are arbitrary, being based on obsolete and outdated concerns,” the group adds.
To highlight the subjectivity ofTabulation Joint Session , the white paper notes the historical changes of election-related dates:
In 1789 electors were appointed on the first Wednesday of January, electors met on the first Wednesday in February, and the Electoral vote was tabulated by a joint session of Congress on the first Wednesday of March. For over half a century, from 1792 until 1844, electors had to be appointed any time within the 34 days before the first Wednesday in December, and the electors met and voted on the first Wednesday in December. For 139 years, in every election between 1792 and 1932 except the 1876 election, the Electoral vote was tabulated by Congress on the second Wednesday in February. For 44 years, between 1888 and 1932, the Electors met and voted on the second Monday in January.
A single national day for appointing electors wasn’t established until 1848.
There also is a historical and legal precedent for “delaying or changing election deadlines in the event of unclear or questionable results or other circumstances.”
In 1789, March 4th was the earliest date on which the Electoral Vote could be formally counted.
And in the Reconstruction-era 1876 election, the Electoral Vote was highly chaotic”
Not only would the Electoral Vote be close (as could be easily discerned from the reports of the popular returns in each State as already published in newspapers around the Nation,) but at least three States in the South (as it was the post-Civil War Reconstruction era) were sending two sets of Electoral Votes — one in favor of each Major Party’s candidate. To make matters worse, one of these Major Parties controlled one house of the outgoing Congress, while the second Party controlled the other house leaving no possibility of a Party line vote in Congress.
Congress passed legislation to bypass the usual process of Electoral Vote counting, requiring Congress to hold its Tabulation Joint Session early to discern just which States were disputed. Congress later addressed the disputes via a “so-called “Electoral Commission” consisting of Senators, Congressmen, and U.S. Supreme Court Justices appointed to the task by Congress.”
Natalie Winters is a Senior Reporter at the National Pulse and producer of The National Pulse TV show.