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The Electoral College votes today – here's what to expect

Electors will meet at the State Capitol at noon to cast their vote for president and vice president.
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The election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States will be confirmed on Monday as the Electoral College gathers to vote.

The 538 people around the country selected to serve as electors – 10 of them from Minnesota – will meet to affirm their respective state's choice for president.

Under federal law, the electors must gather on Dec. 19 to ratify the results, with each elector signing six copies certifying their votes for president and vice president.

Here's what you need to know and what to expect:

What happens in Minnesota

Electors are selected by state political parties to cast their votes after the presidential elections, and according to the Secretary of State's website, Minnesota's will meet at the State Capitol in the executive chamber at noon.

As Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Donald Trump in Minnesota, the 10 Democratic electors will meet to cast their votes for her and her running mate Tim Kaine.

"As a condition of having been chosen under the name of the party of a presidential and vice presidential candidate, the electors are obligated to vote for those candidates," the SoS site says.

Here's a list of the 10 Democrat Party electors in Minnesota.

Is there a chance that Trump won't be elected?

Technically it is possible, but it seems highly unlikely that electors around the country will vote in any way other than that as directed by the voters in their respective states.

Electors who refuse to vote for their party's candidate are known as "faithless electors" and so far only one – Republican Chris Suprun from Texas – has made it clear he intends to vote against Trump.

However, PopSugar reports that it would require another 36 electors breaking ranks to vote against Trump to hand the election to Clinton – and the chances of that are slim to none.

In the event it does happen and the result is overturned, it would go to the House of Representatives.

What happens to faithless electors?

As the New York Times reports, there's nothing in the Constitution or federal law that makes electors vote a particular way.

That said, there are state laws that bind them to vote based on what the state chose, while others are bound by "more informal pledges" to their party, the newspaper notes.

Those who do vote against voters' wishes could face fines, or even be disqualified and replaced, though no elector has been prosecuted for doing so in the past.

There have been only 21 faithless electors since 1896. The last faithless elector was a Democrat in Minnesota in 2004, though it's believed they cast their vote for John Kerry's vice-presidential candidate John Edwards by mistake, Fairvote notes.

What happens next

After the six copies of certified votes are signed, CNN reports two ballots go to the National Archives, one to the president of the Senate, two to their state's chief elections officer, and one goes to a local judge.

It's not quite finished after this, though. On Jan. 6, Congress will have to officially count the electoral votes. This will be presided over by Vice President Joe Biden.

Donald Trump's inauguration is set to take place on Jan. 20.

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