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On the Objection (Shall the Objection Submitted by the Gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Perry, and the Senator from Missouri, Mr. Hawley, Be Sustained?)

Jan 7, 2021 at 12:30 a.m. ET.

This was a vote to exclude Pennsylvania from the 2020 presidential election.

The final step in the election of President of the United States is the counting of the Electoral College votes by a joint session of Congress on January 6 following Election Day to determine which candidate held a majority of votes. This step has been perfunctory for nearly the entire history of the country as the role of Congress under the Constitution is merely to count the votes sent by the states, with the administration of the election left to each state. During the counting on January 6, a representative and a senator together may lodge an objection to counting one or more Electoral College votes. The objection is debated in each chamber, and each chamber then votes on whether to sustain (yea) or reject (nay) the objection.

This Senate vote followed the objection by Rep. Perry and Sen. Hawley to the slate of electors sent by Pennsylvania.

A yea vote was a vote to exclude the Electoral College votes from Pennsylvania from the count to determine the next president.

This vote followed in the hours after the terrorist attack on the Capitol by supporters of President Trump who sought to prevent the count that would determine that President Trump had lost the election. The legislators who voted here to sustain the objection and those who participated in the attack on the Capitol made the same false allegations of widespread election fraud in various states that Trump lost.

Totals

All Votes R D I
Yea 7%
 
 
 
7
7
 
0
 
0
 
Nay 93%
 
 
 
92
44
 
46
 
2
 

Objection Not Sustained. Simple Majority Required. Source: senate.gov.

The Nay votes represented 90% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

Ideology Vote Chart

Key:
Republican - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
Seat position based on our ideology score.

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Vote Details

Notes: “Aye” or “Yea”?
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Statistically Notable Votes

Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

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Study Guide

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What was the procedure for this vote?

  1. What was this vote on?
  2. Not all votes are meant to pass legislation. In the Senate some votes are not about legislation at all, since the Senate must vote to confirm presidential nominations to certain federal positions.

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  1. What trends do you see in this vote?
  2. Members of Congress side together for many reasons beside being in the same political party, especially so for less prominent legislation or legislation specific to a certain region. What might have determined how the roll call came out in this case? Does it look like Members of Congress voted based on party, geography, or some other reason?

  3. How did your senators vote?
  4. There are two votes here that should be more important to you than all the others. These are the votes cast by your senators, which are meant to represent you and your community. Do you agree with how your senators voted? Why do you think they voted the way they did?

    If you don’t already know who your Members of Congress are you can find them by entering your address here.

  5. How much of the United States population is represented by the yeas?
  6. GovTrack displays the percentage of the United States population represented by the yeas on some Senate votes just under the vote totals. We do this to highlight how the people of the United States are represented in the Senate. Since each state has two senators, but state populations vary significantly, the individuals living in each state have different Senate representation. For example, California’s population of near 40 million is given the same number of senators as Wyoming’s population of about 600,000.

    Do the senators who voted yea represent a majority of the people of the United States? Does it matter?

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