What is Certificate of Election?

Definition and meaning of Certificate of Election: A Certificate of Election is a document issued by an election authority to declare the winners of an election and certify their eligibility to take office. It is a formal and legally binding statement of the results of an election and is used to verify the legitimacy of the elected officeholders. The Certificate of Election is typically issued by the Secretary of State of the state in which the election took place. The Certificate of Election is an important part of ensuring that fair and democratic elections are held and their results are accurately reflected in the governing body. It also helps to confirm that the elected officeholders are qualified and eligible to take office. This document is also used to verify the election results when a recount is required or when a dispute arises over the accuracy of the results. Examples of a Certificate of Election include the certification of the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, in which the Secretary of State of each state certified the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Certificates were particularly controversial in the 2020 election, with the final certification of results serving as the backdrop to the riots at the capitol on January 6th, 2021. Other examples of Certificates of Election include the certification of the results of Congressional and state legislative elections, as well as local elections for mayor and other municipal positions.


Explore free resources for voter education

Learn more about elections and American politics
Frame 30 (1)