Electoral College death threats won’t be the last bid to overturn the election

The inchoate desperation of all this is what leads to the question of what might happen after Trump wins the electoral vote on Monday. Then what could depressed and desperate Democrats do?

Well, it turns out that after the Electoral College acts, its votes have to be certified. The United States Code requires this to be done by the two houses of Congress, starting at 1 p.m. on the sixth day of January.

Normally, this is a sedate affair, taking an hour or so. It’s hard to see how Trump and the voters who cast their ballots for him could be denied a victory. But it’s not hard to see how it could be turned into a circus.

As soon as the president of the Senate — Vice President Joe Biden — announces the electoral vote result, the federal law governing the procedure requires him to immediately call for objections.

It only takes objections by one member of the House and one of the Senate to force a vote by each house on the issue. (Ohio’s votes were challenged in 2004.) Each member gets five minutes to sound off; both houses have to agree to disqualify an elector.