Sandy Fitzgerald (writing before the the slates were formally sent):
The Electoral College’s vote will not end President Donald Trump’s hopes for reelection, as his allies are planning to send an “alternative” slate of electors to Congress, senior White House adviser Stephen Miller argued Monday as electors gathered nationwide to cast their votes.
“The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20,” Miller said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “We have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election.”
Miller added that “as we speak, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress. This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open. That means that if we win these cases in the courts, we can direct that the alternate state of electors be certified.” …
If Trump’s campaign succeeds in any of its continued legal efforts in those states, the “alternate” electors would be recognized by a joint session of Congress when it convenes on Jan. 6 to count the electoral votes and officially declare the winner of the election, Miller said.
The Washington Post reports that technically, alternative electors can meet and cast their own votes, as electors are picked for each candidate before the election is held. If their votes are then submitted to Congress, it must consider them.
If both chambers of Congress vote individually to accept Biden’s electors, the dispute is considered as being resolved. If the chambers do not agree and each chamber identifies a different slate of electors, a tiebreaker using a certificate of ascertainment from a state comes into play.
States with close contests between Trump and his rival Biden were expected to potentially produce competing slates of electors, one certified by the governor and the other by the legislature.
It is unclear if all of the Republican electors in the five states were formally certified. Either way, Congress is likely to end up with competing slates of electors come Jan. 6, when the two chambers are scheduled to count the votes. While a process exists to resolve disputes between duelling electors, it has never been tested in the courts. …
According to the U.S. Code, when the House and Senate meet, they have to look into “all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes.” Several Republican members of Congress have said they would attempt to object to the counting of the Electoral College votes for a state, which would then trigger a series of debates and votes. …
If lawmakers cannot agree on a set of electors, the country will find itself in uncharted territory, which may prompt intervention from the Supreme Court. If history is a guide, the state delegations in the House may have to pick a president. Republicans have the majority of delegations.
Keeping the option open. The reports are all a bit confused about how this works exactly, because it’s not been done before.
hat-tip Charles, Kat H.