California’s 55 votes put Joe Biden in the top, eliminating the 270-vote mark that said he would be the nation’s next president.
The Electoral College gave Joe Biden the majority of his votes on Dec. 14, confirming his victory in last month’s state-run election, which gained in importance this year over President Donald Trump’s refusal to admit that he lost.
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The 55 electoral votes in California placed Mr. Biden at the top, eliminating the 270-vote mark that said he would be the next president of the nation.
There was little suspense and no surprise, as all the electoral votes cast for Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump in last month’s popular vote went to each man.
In Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – the six battlefields say Mr Biden won and Mr Trump challenged – voters voted for Mr Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday in discreet proceedings. Nevada voters met with Zoom over the coronavirus pandemic.
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When all the votes were taken, Mr. Biden was expected to have 306 votes for and 232 for Mr. Trump. Hawaii was the only state that did not vote yet. Biden faced Trump with more than 7 million votes nationwide.
“In this battle for America’s soul, democracy has prevailed,” Mr. Biden said in remarks prepared for an evening speech. “We, the people, have voted. Faith in our institutions has taken place. The integrity of our choices remains intact. And so, now is the time to turn the page. Let’s unite. Let’s heal.”
(Here is a chart of how the Electoral College works)
Mr Biden renewed his campaign promise to be president for all Americans, whether they voted for him or not, and said the country has a lot of work ahead of it in terms of the virus and the economy.
Former Maryland Senator Gloria Lawlah, in a state that Mr. Biden easily won, said the Democratic ticket vote was “a rejection of hatred, a rejection of division.”
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But not everyone was ready to say the election was over, even with the election. Mr. Trump has refused to admit and continues to make unacceptable allegations of fraud.
There have been concerns about voter safety, virtually unheard of in previous years. In Michigan, lawmakers on both sides reported receiving threats, and law offices were closed due to threats of violence. Mr. Biden won the state with 1.54,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points, over Mr. Trump.
Georgia’s state police were in place at the Atlanta State Chapter before Democratic voters pledged to meet with Mr. Biden. No protesters were seen.
Even with the confirmation by the Electoral College of Mr. Biden’s victory, some Republicans continued to refuse to acknowledge that reality. However, their opposition to Mr Biden had no practical effect on the electoral process, with the Democrat to be sworn in on 20 January.
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Despite Mr. Biden’s gains in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Republicans who were allegedly Trump voters met anyway. Pennsylvania Republicans have said they have cast a “procedural vote” for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence if the courts that have repeatedly rejected appeals to Mr. Biden’s victory should somehow rule that Mr. Trump won.
In North Carolina, Utah and other states around the country where Mr. Trump won, his constituents turned out to vote for him properly. Voters in North Carolina were checked for temperature before being allowed to enter the Capitol to vote. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has resigned as Trump and was quarantined because he was exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated four years ago, were among the 29 New York voters for Mr. Biden and Mrs. Harris.
In New Hampshire, before the four state voters voted for Mr. Biden at the Concord State House, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington led the group in the Pledge of Loyalty. He gave an emotional speech at the August National Democratic Convention about the stuttering fight he shares with Mr Biden.
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Vermont voters were the first in the country to vote Monday and elected Mr Biden and Mrs Harris.
Mr Biden will address the nation on Monday evening after voters vote. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is clinging to his false claims that he won the election and is trying to undermine Mr. Biden’s presidency before it begins.
“No, I’m worried the country has an illegitimate president, that’s what I’m worried about. A president who lost and lost badly,” Trump said in a statement. Fox News interview recorded on Saturday.
After weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Mr. Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to annul 62 electoral votes for Mr. Biden in four states, which could have called into question the outcome.
Judges rejected Friday’s effort.
In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require voters to vote for the winner of the popular vote. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the agreement in July.
Voters almost always vote for the state winner anyway, because they are generally devoted to their political parties. There was no reason to expect desertions this year.
The Electoral College was the product of the compromise during the drafting of the Constitution between those who favored the election of the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to directly elect their leader.
Each state receives a number of voters equal to its total number of seats in Congress – two senators plus as many members as the state has in the House of Representatives. Washington, DC, has three votes, based on a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states give all Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.
The negotiation hit by the nation’s founders produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote. Mr. Trump was the latest example in 2016.