Members of the Electoral College from all six battlefield states in which President Donald Trump most fiercely challenged the results voted Monday for Democrat Joe Biden, effectively disrupting the president’s path to overturning the election.
The vote marks the culmination of some Republican lawmakers who said they would signal the end of their support for attempts to overturn the Nov. 3 election.
The 16 Michigan voters voted for Biden, following the 63 votes cast for him earlier in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden will have enough electoral votes to be officially elected president when members have voted 270 votes, which is to be expected after the California vote. Congress will officially count the votes on January 6.
Voters in 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia are voting for the president and vice president in time-honored constitutional ceremonies that drew new attention this year after Trump refused to admit and insisted without evidence that the election was “rigged.”
Many Republicans refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory, accepting Trump’s unfounded claims about the stolen election and saying he had the right to continue legal challenges and let the process go. And now, with the voters who cast their vote, he did.
“The Electoral College obviously has a purpose in this regard,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a Republican, told reporters last week. 2 of the room. And South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, another Trump ally, said when asked if the president should admit, “I’ll talk to you on December 14.”
Trump told Fox News on Sunday that he will continue to fight for the results, even after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Texas request to overturn election results in four of the six battlefield states. the president had called him “The Great” who was supported by Republican attorneys general from 18 states and 126 Republican members of Congress.
Republicans said non-certified Trump voters met in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to vote if pending litigation nullified the results. But any attempt to persuade Congress to consider a rival list of voters “will not work as a matter of law,” said Edward Foley, a professor and director of an electoral law program at Ohio State University that studied the election. played.
On Monday, Biden will call on the country to reunite now that the trial is over.
“The flame of democracy was kindled in this nation a long time ago. And now we know that nothing – not even a pandemic or an abuse of power – can put out that flame, “Biden will say, according to prepared remarks that his transition team announced it will deliver on Monday night. “And now it’s time to turn the page. To unite. Cure.”
The campaign of the president and his allies has led to dozens of lawsuits to invalidate Biden’s victories in the battlefield states, and almost all have been rejected for lack of evidence of fraud. The president pressured Republicans in Congress and states to help him cancel the election and urged state lawmakers to nominate rival Trump voters.
Rick Bloomingdale, a Biden voter in Pennsylvania, said before the meeting in the state capital of Harrisburg that he is confident that his vote will be counted and that Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election will fail.
“At noon on January 20, Joe Biden will be president of the United States,” said Bloomingdale, president of the AFL-CIO in Pennsylvania. “It’s amazing to me that we have people who are actually trying to stage a coup and take the votes from the voters.”
Pennsylvania voter Paige Gebhardt Cognetti said she was particularly proud to vote for Biden because she worked for the U.S. Treasury Department when she was vice president and is now mayor of Scranton, her childhood home.
“It shouldn’t matter who your parents voted for, if you’re a child growing up in Scranton, you should know that you can become president,” Cognetti said.
Most voters meet in their state capitals with restricted access and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevada held its entire meeting by videoconference, and Arizona did not publicly disclose the location of its meeting to keep it “weak.”
There have been protests against Trump’s election outside the Electoral College meeting in some states in 2016, and there could be demonstrations this year. Trump supporters rallied on Saturday to protest in Washington, sometimes clashing with counter-protesters and police.
Police were to accompany state voters from a parking garage to the Michigan state chapter in Lansing, said voter Chris Cracchiolo, chairman of the Democratic Party of the Great Cross and vice president of the Democratic Party of Michigan.
Earlier, Republicans blocked the inaugural resolution recognizing Biden’s victory
“When I volunteered, I thought it was somewhat ceremonial,” Cracchiolo said before the meeting. “As of November 3, the scale and importance of this role seems to be growing every day.”
Michigan lawmaker was jailed for security reasons, and lawmaker removed Republican Gary Eisen from his committee on Monday after the lawmaker said he would be part of a potentially violent protest to overturn the Electoral College vote. .
“I know this is not the result some people want,” said Lee Chatfield, the Republican president of the Michigan House, in a statement supporting the Biden Electoral College vote. “But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I intend to. “
When U.S. voters mark ballots in a presidential race, they are actually voting for the electoral roll of a candidate who cast that state’s electoral votes – one vote for each U.S. representative and senator. The candidate who obtains the majority of the 538 electoral votes, or 270, wins the presidency.
Biden won 306 votes in the 25 states and the district of Columbia, and voters, who are generally selected by their political parties, are essentially committed to voting for the winner of the popular vote in their state. Trump captured 232 electoral votes from the 25 states he won.
The next step is for Congress to calculate the electoral votes of each state in a joint session on January 6, with Vice President Mike Pence. There could be a drama if a member of the House and Senate objects to a state’s voter list. This would require each chamber to debate and vote on the objection.
Republican Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama said he intends to object, but so far no senator has joined. Seventy-five Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania also sent a December 4 letter to the state delegation to Congress urging them to oppose it.
Any objection that reached a vote is likely to fail with Democrats controlling the House and enough Republican senators acknowledging Biden’s victory, said Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford University law professor and electoral rights expert.
Monday’s voters’ meeting, however, is the last step for anyone waiting for the process to take place, Persily said.
“Constitutional would be the end of the road,” he said.