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Every single newspaper is saying that “Joe Biden is elected the 46th president of the United States”, but Trump will fight this any way he can.

My question: when are the results official with no possibility of the outcome changing? Trump won’t concede and it’s still possible that his actions (ie. Lawsuits, fraud, recounts, etc) may affect the results.

When will this chapter be officially closed?

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There are several steps in making the results official:

  • First, the state election official (usually the Secretary of State) will certify the results. This effectively "locks in" the popular vote, and decides how the state will allocate its electors. The date when this happens varies from state to state (and election to election, depending on circumstances).
  • Second, the electors meet in their respective state capitals and cast their votes. This happens on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December (this year, it happens on December 14).
  • Third, Congress meets in joint session on January 6 and votes to accept (or reject) the electoral votes. Rejection has normally only happened in the case of severe irregularities in the vote (for example, in 1872, three of Georgia's votes were cast for Horace Greeley, who had recently died, so those votes were rejected).

Assuming this process leaves one candidate with a majority of the electoral votes, the process ends here. If not, there's a fourth step:

  • The House of Representatives immediately goes into session to select a president from the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. During this process, each state delegation votes en bloc, casting a single vote regardless of the size of the delegation. Discussion and voting rounds continue until one candidate gets a majority of the votes (currently, 26 or more votes).
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When will this chapter be officially closed?

Answer from Joe W:

The final results are not official until January 6th when they are presented to both chambers of congress. The individual states have until December 14th for the its electors to be decided and not all states bind electors to vote the way the state did.

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