US House of Congress! In Nigeria, only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the power to declare a candidate winner of the presidential election. The process, however, is different in the US — where Joe Biden, candidate of the Democratic Party, has just been announced winner of the keenly contested 2020 presidential election.
Elections in the US are first certified at the State level, and it is based on this that Electors to the electoral college are picked and who would then officially vote for the president.
MEDIA ANNOUNCES RESULTS
The media plays a crucial role in the US presidential election as they project and then declare a winner based on the reading of the data they track from the state election bodies.
The electoral bodies also largely rely on the media to announce results from the states.
Even when the counting process was still in progress, the majority of US media organisations had on Saturday announced Biden as winner of the election, based on their projection.
Expectedly, Donald Trump, incumbent and candidate of the Republican Party, said the media cannot decide the next US president (See Here).
In the president’s estimation, the election is far from over and Biden was “using his media allies to declare himself winner.”
He said, “Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts”.
VICE-PRESIDENT PENCE TO CERTIFY RESULT IN JANUARY
Unlike Nigeria with its INEC, the US follows a different process in finally certifying the winner of the presidential election.
The certification largely rests on the US House of Congress (also read) which is expected to convene on January 6, 2021.
The essence of the meeting is to count electoral votes and also to certify. The president of the senate presides over the counting, and interestingly, the vice-president constitutionally serves as the US senate president.