From NBC's Mike Viqueira
One wouldn't pretend to know how this Burris/Blago Senate affair is going to get sorted out, but one factor may be the signature -- or lack thereof -- of the Illinois secretary of state certifying the appointment.
While reports maintain that the signature may not be required under the rules and regulations of Illinois, the U.S. Senate rules do appear to require such a mark. So if the secretary of state follows through on his threat and refuses to sign and certify the appointment, this rule may come into play.
See section No. 2 below, from the Rules of the Senate, available at Senate.gov:
1. The presentation of the credentials of Senators elect or of Senators designate and other questions of privilege shall always be in order, except during the reading and correction of the Journal, while a question of order or a motion to adjourn is pending, or while the Senate is voting or ascertaining the presence of a quorum; and all questions and motions arising or made upon the presentation of such credentials shall be proceeded with until disposed of.
2. The Secretary shall keep a record of the certificates of election and certificates of appointment of Senators by entering in a wellbound book kept for that purpose the date of the election or appointment, the name of the person elected or appointed, the date of the certificate, the name of the governor and the secretary of state signing and countersigning the same, and the State from which such Senator is elected or appointed.
3. The Secretary of the Senate shall send copies of the following recommended forms to the governor and secretary of state of each State wherein an election is about to take place or an appointment is to be made so that they may use such forms if they see fit.
THE RECOMMENDED FORMS FOR CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION AND CERTIFICATE OF APPOINTMENT ARE AS FOLLOWS:
CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION FOR SIXYEAR TERM
To the President of the Senate of the United States:
This is to certify that on the _— day of __, 19_, A_— B_— was duly chosen by the qualified electors of the State of _— a Senator from said State to represent said State in the Senate of the United States for the term of six years, beginning on the 3d day of January, 19__.
Witness: His excellency our governor __, and our seal hereto affixed at __— this _— day of __, in the year of our Lord 19__.
By the governor:
Secretary of State.
CERTIFICATE OF ELECTION FOR UNEXPIRED TERM