Electoral College

Key Dates and Events for State Officials and Points of Contact

The Constitution of the United States and Federal law place certain Presidential election responsibilities on State executives and the electors for President and Vice President.

The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, and the term “Executive” includes State Governors and the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


DATES for State Officials

November 5, 2024—Election Day
(the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November*)

*States that appoint electors by popular vote (currently all) may include a modified voting period necessitated by force majeure events that are extraordinary and catastrophic as part of ‘election day’.

The voters in each State choose electors that the Executive appoints to serve in the Electoral College.


    By December 11, 2024—deadline for issuing and sending Certificates of Ascertainment
    (at least six days before meeting of the electors)

    As soon as election results are final:

    • Prepare your Certificates of Ascertainment.
    • Send ONE (1) Certificate of Ascertainment to the Archivist of the United States.
    • Retain SIX (6) original Certificates of Ascertainment to provide to the electors for the meeting of the electors.

    Note: Federal law prescribes an expedited procedure for resolving disputes before this deadline (see 3 U.S.C. §5).


    December 17, 2024—electors vote
    (the first Tuesday after second Wednesday in December)

    The electors in each State meet to select the President and Vice President of the United States.

    • Prepare your Certificates of Vote.
    • Pair with retained Certificates of Ascertainment.
    • Send your paired Certificates of Ascertainment and Vote.  


    By December 25, 2024—electoral votes must arrive
    (no later than the fourth Wednesday in December)

    Designated Federal and State officials must receive the paired Certificates no later than the fourth Wednesday in December.


    DATES of General Interest

    On or before January 3, 2025—Archivist transfers Certificates to Congress

    As the new Congress assembles, the Archivist transmits sets of Certificates to Congress, as requested. This generally happens when the Senate does not receive its set of Certificates on time. The transfer occurs in late December or early January when OFR’s Legal staff meets with representatives of the Secretary of the Senate, the Clerk of the House, and Congressional Parliamentarians.


    January 6, 2025—Congress counts electoral votes

    Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes (unless Congress passes a law to change the date).

    The President of the Senate, the Archivist of the United States, and other designated Federal and State officials must have the electoral votes in hand at this time.


    January 20, 2025, at Noon—Inauguration

    The President-elect and Vice President-elect take the Oath of Office and become the President of the United States and Vice President of the United States, respectively.