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Fact check: Mike Pence did not have the power to overturn 2020 election results, keep Trump in office 

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday directly rebutted Donald Trump’s false claims that Pence somehow could have overturned the results of the 2020 election, saying that the former president was simply “wrong.”

In a speech to the conservative Federalist Society in Florida, Pence addressed Trump’s intensifying efforts this week to advance the false narrative that he could have done something to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.

“President Trump is wrong,” Pence said. “I had no right to overturn the election.”

In a fiery statement Friday night, Trump criticized Pence and said. “Just saw Mike Pence’s statement on the fact that he had no right to do anything with respect to the Electoral Vote Count, other than being an automatic conveyor belt for the Old Crow Mitch McConnell to get Biden elected President as quickly as possible,” the ex-president wrote.

“Well, the Vice President’s position is not an automatic conveyor if obvious signs of voter fraud or irregularities exist. That’s why the Democrats and RINOs are working feverishly together to change the very law that Mike Pence and his unwitting advisors used on January 6 to say he had no choice.

“The reason they want it changed is because they now say they don’t want the Vice President to have the right to ensure an honest vote.

“In other words, I was right and everyone knows it,” Trump said. “If there is fraud or large scale irregularities, it would have been appropriate to send those votes back to the legislature to figure it out. The Dems and RINOs want to take that right away.”

This is FALSE

Can the vice president reject electoral college votes?

The answer is NO. The Constitution doesn’t grant the vice president any such power that Trump labeled. Instead, it’s up to the House and Senate to voice any objections And each of those state electors was chosen in accordance with state law, not fraudulently. 

The Constitution shows the Vide President’s role is more formal, monitoring the session that will take place. 

The Electoral Count Act, offers a detailed playbook for how Congress’ counting is supposed to go, and it specifically limits the vice president to ceremonial duties.

“The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted,” it reads.

So the Vice President will oversee the joint session of Congress, opening each of the certificates of each state’s electoral votes and then presenting those to already appointed House and Senate “tellers” in alphabetical order.

“The person having the greatest number of votes shall be president,” the amendment continues.

After presenting them to all of the tellers, who count the votes, the vice president then will announce who officially won. The Vice President doesn’t have any official say in changing the votes, as Trump claims.

What would it take to overturn election results?

For those election results to actually be overturned, both the House and the Senate would have to agree on the need to do so.  If no one candidate secured a majority, or in the odd event there is a tie, then the House would decide.

What would happen if the Vice President doesn’t show up to the vote at all? Would there be a delay?

No there won’t be a delay. So even if VP decided not to show up, the president pro tempore of the Senate could step into the role.

So let’s say, if an objection passes both chambers, where do the votes go?

Rejection means that that state just won’t be counted and every single person in that state will basically be disenfranchised by both houses, deciding not to count their electoral votes.

Nowhere on the federal statute say that if an objection succeeds, the opponent would get the votes.

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