|Title||Ballot Box, Electoral College (1981–Present)|
|Dimensions||h. 9 x w. 10 x d. 18 in. (h. 22.9 x w. 25.4x d. 45.7 cm)|
|Credit Line||U.S. Senate Collection|
The United States Constitution provides for the election of the president and vice president by an electoral college. Pursuant to law, every four years in the January following a presidential election, Congress convenes in a joint session to count the electoral votes for president and vice president. Senate staff carry certificates attesting to each states balloting from the Senate Chamber to the House Chamber in mahogany boxes. The vice president opens the certificates and tellers read the results to the joint session.
Mahogany boxes, similar in design to the one shown here, have been used to carry the electoral certificates since 1877. This box, is one of a pair that held the certificates for the official counting of the votes on the following dates: January 6, 1981 (Ronald W. Reagan); January 7, 1985 (Ronald W. Reagan); January 6, 1989 (George H. W. Bush); January 6, 1993 (William J. Clinton); January 6, 1997 (William J. Clinton); January 6, 2001 (George W. Bush); January 6, 2005 (George W. Bush); January 8, 2009 (Barack H. Obama); January 4, 2013 (Barack H. Obama); January 6, 2017 (Donald J. Trump); and January 6, 2021 (Joseph R. Biden).