President Trump has claimed in a series of tweets that Vice President Mike Pence has the power to reject electoral votes results at today’s joint session of Congress. As vice president, Pence leads the session where the electoral votes are opened and counted.
This is a false claim. The vice president does not have the power to reject electoral votes.
Rebecca Green, law professor and co-director of the election law program at William and Mary said in an email to The Dispatch Fact Check that “the notion that U.S. vice presidents have the unilateral power to overturn the will of voters as expressed through state vote certifications is as wrong logically as it is legally.”
“As a matter of logic, why should Americans bother voting if vice presidents (who are very often on the ticket) could simply install themselves and their boss when Congress meets?” she wrote. “As a matter of law, both the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act clearly delineate a ministerial role for the Vice President in presiding over the count of Electoral College votes.”