On Monday, voters will decide who the next U.S. president will be. Yes, there was a vote last month, but that was technically to decide who the state should choose to cast their ballot. The electoral college, comprised of 538 members, is expected to vote for their party’s candidate, but in a year full of surprises, nothing’s totally certain.
There’s been a big push to get Republican voters to cast their ballots for anyone other than Trump. It’s unlikely to change the result — electors almost always vote for their party’s candidate, and Trump beat Clinton by 306 votes to 232, meaning an unprecedented amount of “faithless electors” would have to switch allegiance. On top of that, 29 states have laws to restrict electors from changing their vote. Don’t rule out a small number of electors switching, though, after a month of Russian hacking news reports that may sway voters to switch.
The vote, conducted by electors chosen by party officials, doesn’t work in quite the same way as the general vote. Instead, six sets of votes are signed and sealed by the electors, which are each paired with a certificate of ascertainment. These are then distributed to several people: one to the vice president (the set that’s actually counted), two to the Secretary of State for that elector’s state, two to the archivist and one set to the judge of the elector’s district. The vice president can call on any of those three people to hand over one of their copies in case there’s a missing or incomplete vote.
The best way to watch the vote unfold is through C-SPAN, where the network is planning all-day coverage of proceedings. CBS News is also set to provide coverage. Some states will also livestream the vote themselves — California, Maryland and Florida are expected to stream proceedings, but it’s best to check your state’s website for more information.
CBS News has collected together a handy guide for when each state will vote, based off information from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). At 10 a.m. Eastern electors from Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Tennessee and West Virginia will vote. At 11 a.m. Arkansas, Illinois, Oklahoma and South Carolina will cast their ballots. Noon will see 12 states cast their votes: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Virginia.
At 1 p.m., electors in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will cast their votes. At 2 p.m. there’s another rush of votes, with 10 states up to vote: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. 3 p.m. is when Alaska, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington vote. At this point, Trump is expected to win.
Then to round off the day, at 4 p.m. Iowa, Montana and Nevada will vote, followed by California at 5 p.m. and Hawaii at 7 p.m. It is unclear at this stage when the District of Columbia and Vermont will vote.