Electoral College Vote Count: What Time & Channel Is Congress’ Joint Meeting?

congress joint meeting

Congress is meeting to count the electoral votes today. What time does it start? (Getty)

Today, the Electoral College votes will finally be counted in a joint session of Congress. If you’re wanting to know what time this starts and how to watch, you’re in the right place. Congress will begin counting the votes at 1 p.m. Eastern. This will be the final step before President-Elect Trump’s inauguration on January 20. Some Democrats are considering challenging the electoral votes, which may delay the final certification, but it’s very unlikely their actions will change the final results. Here’s everything you need to know about how and where to watch the whole thing.

DATE: Today, Friday, January 6, 2016

ELECTORAL VOTE COUNT TIME: The joint session of Congress will convene at 1 p.m. Eastern. It’s unknown exactly how long the process will last, but C-SPAN is allotting three hours. However, if it takes longer, C-SPAN will surely continue the coverage.

TV CHANNEL: Your best bet for watching the whole thing live is to tune in to C-SPAN 1. They’ll be covering Congress all day, but the coverage of the electoral vote will begin when the joint session starts at 1 p.m. Eastern.

To find out what channel C-SPAN is on for you, click here to go to TV Guide’s listings. Then change the “Provider” (right under TV Listings) to your local provider. You’ll be able to scroll down to see what channel number C-SPAN is on in your area.


Here is the timeline of when everything’s going to happen today.

  • Congress will count each state’s electoral votes. This will be done in alphabetical order.
  • Four vote counters (two from the Senate and two from the House) will announce the results.
  • A debate can be called if there’s a dispute about the electoral votes for a specific state. But the ballots must be jointly contested by both a member of the House and of the Senate, Fox News explained.
  • If a member of the House and Senate dispute the electoral votes, then the House and Senate will meet separately and debate for two hours.
  • After the debate, they will vote to accept or reject the state’s results.
  • A joint session will reconvene after this.
  • If Congress rejects enough votes, the House will choose the President from the top three with the most electoral votes: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Colin Powell. (They will likely still choose Trump.)
  • More than likely, however, Congress will not reject any electoral votes and Trump will be easily and officially confirmed as President.

More than likely, even if a dispute does happen, it won’t change the results. Find out why in Heavy’s story here.