In a normal presidential election, the meeting of the electors would be a minor blip in the news cycle, but ever since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential race more than a month ago, legal challenges from President Trump and his supporters—many of whom have falsely alleged fraud or sought to overturn the results—have placed a greater-than-usual attention on the day the Electoral College actually votes. That day is today. Here’s what to know:
What’s happening today?
Electors will meet in all 50 states—mostly in state capitols—and the District of Columbia to cast their ballots, formally picking Biden and Senator Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president of the United States. Based on certified state tallies, Biden will receive 306 to Trump’s 232. Once the ballots are cast, the electors sign certificates that are then sent to Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as president of the Senate.
What happens next?
Keep an eye on January 6. That’s the day the votes will be officially counted in Washington by a joint session of Congress. After that, it’s on to Inauguration Day: January 20.
What time are the votes?
It depends on the state, but most are happening between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time. Fox 23 has a good state-by-state roundup here.
Where can I watch the votes in each state?
In most cases, states are providing free access to live streams. Your best bet is to go to your state website and look for the live stream, usually offered by the state legislative body. (The Washington Post has a good roundup of links.) Local media outlets may also offer a live stream or offer local coverage.
What about national cable news coverage?
Major cable news outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, will cover the vote developments to varying degrees. If you’re a cable cord-cutter and want to watch their coverage live, you can find them on the following streaming services, but you’ll need to sign up for a paid subscription:
If you already have a login account for a pay-TV company, you can stream coverage live from the cable networks’ websites or via their mobile apps.
Who else is covering the votes?
C-SPAN is offering live coverage of the Electoral College votes in several states, including key battleground states. The coverage begins at 10 a.m. ET with Indiana. C-SPAN live streams are available on most of the above streaming services or accessible with a pay-TV subscription.