LANSING: President-elect of the United States Joe Biden has taken another step closer to the White House, as key states in the Electoral College system officially confirmed their November 3 election victory, effectively ending President Donald Trump’s long-running attempt to overturn the results.
State-by-state Electoral College votes have traditionally become overly significant because of Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread fraud.
The results of the November election show that Biden, the former Democratic vice president, won 306 votes in the Electoral College – exceeding the 270 needed to win – after four tumultuous years under Republican Trump. Biden and running mate Kamala Harris are due to take office on January 20th.
There is almost no chance that Monday’s vote will override Biden’s victory, and with Trump’s legal campaign to reverse the results, the president’s hopes of clinging to power will rest with a special session of the U.S. Congress on January 6. , where the odds against him are as good as they are insurmountable.
At the age of 78, the one who became president of the USA, Biden was to give a speech on Monday at 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT Tuesday) about the Electoral College “and the strength and resilience of our democracy,” said his team transition in a statement. .
Members of the Electoral College of Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin voted for Biden on Monday, confirming his victory on the battlefield, saying Trump had tried unsuccessfully to challenge in court.
Arizona voters, whom Trump lost this year after winning there in 2016, cast 11 state votes for Biden.
“While there will be those who are upset that their candidate did not win, it is obviously an American and unacceptable for today’s event to be anything less than an honorable tradition held proudly and in celebration,” the Arizona secretary of state said. Katie Hobbs. the vote.
Hobbs, a Democrat, said Trump’s allegations of election fraud “led to threats of violence against me, my office and those in this House today,” echoing similar reports of threats and intimidation in other states.
In a complicated system dating back to the 1780s, a candidate becomes president of the United States not by winning a majority of the popular vote, but by the Electoral College system, which allocates electoral votes to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, largely based on their population size.
Voters are usually party loyalists who represent the winning candidate in their state, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which gives a portion of the Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who won in the state’s congressional districts.
Although there are sometimes a handful of “rogue” voters who vote for someone other than the winner of their state’s popular vote, the vast majority stamp the results, and officials did not expect anything different on Monday.
Trump said late last month that he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Biden, but has since continued his unprecedented campaign to overthrow his defeat, unsuccessfully filing numerous lawsuits challenging the number of votes cast. state.
On Monday, he repeated a series of unaccepted claims of electoral fraud.
“Swing states that have found a massive VOTE FRAUD, which are all, CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete and correct without committing a severely punished crime,” he wrote on Twitter.
A group of Trump supporters called on Facebook for protests all day, Monday, outside the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, one of the hardest-fought states in which Trump lost.
But in the early afternoon, only a handful had gathered, including 66-year-old Bob Ray, a retired construction worker. He had a sign that read, “Order a forensic audit,” “Save America,” and “Stop Communism.”
Trump has asked Republican lawmakers to nominate his constituents, essentially ignoring the will of voters. State lawmakers largely rejected the idea.
“I fought hard for President Trump. No one wanted him to earn more than me,” Lee Chatfield, a Republican spokesman for the Michigan House of Representatives, said in a statement. “But I love our republic, too. I can’t understand the risks of our rules, traditions, and institutions to pass a resolution by retroactively changing voters for Trump.”
Once the Electoral College vote is completed, Trump’s only remaining gambit would be to persuade Congress not to certify the January 6 count.
Any attempt to block the results of a state and thus change the total number of the United States must pass in both chambers of Congress that day. Republicans probably won’t be able to stop Biden, as planned, on Jan. 20, as Democrats control the House of Representatives, and several Republican senators have acknowledged Biden’s victory.
In 2016, Trump won the Electoral College, despite losing the popular vote against Democrat Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. The formal vote gained further attention when some Democratic activists called on voters to “become dishonest” against Trump. Eventually, seven voters broke ranks, an unusually large number, but still far too few to influence the outcome.
Once in the oval office, Biden faces the challenging task of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, reviving the US economy, and rebuilding unbridled relations with US allies abroad through Trump’s “America First” policies.
Even though Monday’s vote went smoothly, Trump’s efforts – such as encouraging state lawmakers to call their own sets of voters “duelists” – exposed potential system flaws, said Robert Alexander, a professor at Northern University. from Ohio, who wrote a book about the Electoral College.
“There are a lot of landmines in the Electoral College, and these elections have really revealed many of them,” he said.
While electoral voting normally involves pomp and circumstance, most of this year’s events have been significantly reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.