"There's never been a question here of holding on to this material," McNiff said. "It's done as soon as they get the results."
If there is delay, one campaign lawyer researching the matter said they can go to court to try and force a certification.
Even after the certification is complete, it will be up to the Senate leadership to seat the eventual winner. When asked whether the Republicans would have any reason to fear a delay, Jim Manley, a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid, D.-Nev., said he doesn't engage in hypotheticals. But he said he did not expect any deviation from the usual process.
"When the certification papers come to the Senate and the vice president is available, the winner will be seated," Manley said.
Republican strategists say there would be no need to wait for the vice president. The statute says the oath may also be administered by the Senate's presiding officer or the assistant secretary.
If there were a delay in the Senate, one Republican lawyer reviewing the matter said, the Democrats would have to weigh the potential for a political backlash.
"If Massachusetts certifies someone and the senate says they're not going to seat them, that's a political call," the lawyer said.