Electoral College certification live updates: Watch the vote count by Congress

How to watch Electoral College certification
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Electoral College certification start time

Today (Wednesday, Jan. 6), the count begins at 1 p.m. ET. You can watch it go down on CNN.

It's January 6, which means it's time to watch the Electoral College certification live updates roll in — or live on TV if you so prefer. The joint session of Congress is counting the Electoral College votes as the final step in the 2020 presidential election. By the end of the day, they will officially declare the winner. 

President-Elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris won the election with electoral college 306 votes to Donald Trump and Mike Pence's 232 votes.

The Electoral College certification is usually a routine, ceremonial event. But this occasion has already proved controversial, as a number of Republican lawmakers have pledged to challenge the results.

Since losing the election, President Trump has repeatedly made false claims of voter fraud and election rigging. He has been supported by some Republicans, like those planning on challenging the certifications in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and possibly other states. 

Trump has also said that Vice President Pence, who is overseeing the joint session as president of the Senate, can overturn the election results, though neither the Constitution nor law gives him that power. Pence issued a statement (opens in new tab) today refusing to accede to Trump's demands.

Members of House and Senate will convene in the House chamber at 1 p.m. ET. Pence will open the certificates from each state, in alphabetical order. If both a House member and senator register an objection in writing, the joint session is recessed, and the House and Senate meet separately to debate the issue for up to two hours. Members are allowed up to five minutes each to speak, and then both chambers vote. A simple majority is needed in both chambers for an objection to succeed.

Even if the challenges delay the Electoral College certification, they are not likely to change the final outcome. By the end of the day, Joe Biden will officially be declared the 46th President of the United States.

Here's how to watch the Electoral College certification live updates.

How to watch Electoral College certification live updates with a VPN

No matter where you are in the world, you shouldn't be separated from your preferred means of following the news. If georestrictions are keeping you from watching the Electoral College certification coverage you want, you're not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.

ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)

We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied.

How to watch Electoral College certification live updates on CNN

CNN's coverage of the Electoral College certification starts Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 9 a.m. ET. The joint session begins at 1 p.m. ET.

Viewers can also follow along on CNN's apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. Coverage is also available on CNN.com (opens in new tab).

If you've cut the cord, it's easy to get the CNN channel. It's available on two of the best streaming services: Sling TV and FuboTV

Fubo has a 7-day free trial (opens in new tab), and its $65 per month package has 120-plus channels, and that's before you add on regional sports networks. 

Sling TV (opens in new tab)

Sling TV (opens in new tab) offers CNN in both the Sling Blue and Sling Orange packages, which each start at $30 per month. Both plans come with varying channel lineups that include ESPN, Bravo, Food Network, HGTV, TNT and more. You can check out everything Sling has to offer in its three-day free trial.

Fubo.TV (opens in new tab)

Fubo.TV (opens in new tab): The best streaming service for getting 2020 NFL live streams, Fubo has all of the right network channels and the cable channels you don't want to go without. Who needs cable? Not Fubo subscribers. It's got a seven-day free trial (opens in new tab) so you don't need to pay up front.

How to watch Electoral College certification live updates on Fox News

Fox News is available on Sling TV (opens in new tab), but only on Sling Blue. FuboTV (opens in new tab) also has Fox News. As mentioned above, both have free trials, but Fubo's seven-day trial is more than twice as long as Sling's three-day trial. 

Sling TV (opens in new tab)

Fox News is on the Sling TV (opens in new tab) Blue package, which also has local NBC and Fox channels (in select markets) and a slew of cable networks like FX, Cartoon Network, Syfy and USA. Sling TV is one of the least expensive live TV services in the market.

Fubo.TV (opens in new tab)

The complete streaming service for sports fans, Fubo.TV (opens in new tab) also provides plenty of ways to stay informed with the news. So, after you use Fubo to follow the Electoral College certification on Fox News and Fox Business, you can also tune into the NFL season across local CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates, as well as ESPN and NFL Network. 

How to watch Electoral College certification live updates on MSNBC

Over on MSNBC, coverage of the Electoral College certification continues throughout the day, and you can access the channel through these services.

Sling TV (opens in new tab)

MSNBC is on the Sling TV (opens in new tab) Blue package, which also has AMC, BET, Food Network and FX. Sling TV is one of the most affordable streaming services available, and Sling Blue also adds in NFL Network, local Fox and NBC affiliates, TNT and USA.

Fubo.TV (opens in new tab)

Fubo.TV (opens in new tab) is one of the most complete live TV services. It's got both FX and FXX, Comedy Central, AMC, HGTV and much more. Football fans will also want Fubo for access to every channel they need for NFL live streams, with CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC and the NFL Network.

How to watch Electoral College certification live updates on C-SPAN

C-SPAN isn't carried by most live TV services. The only one that does is AT&T TV Now, which we don't recommend. 

The cheaper and easier way to watch C-SPAN's coverage of the Electoral College certification is online at their YouTube channel (opens in new tab) or website (opens in new tab).

How to watch Electoral College certification live updates for free

Own a Roku? You can get all the free Electoral College certification live updates you could need from The Roku Channel. ABC News Live, NBC News NOW and Newsy are among the channels in the streamer's free offerings. 

Alternatively, your local broadcast networks may be available for free, online via Locast (opens in new tab). Its reach isn't as far as the above streaming services, though, serving 45.6% of the U.S. population, though that does reach over 148 million people. You can get ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS through Locast, and their broadcasts begin at 6 p.m. ET.

Kelly Woo
Senior Writer

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.