On Monday, the U.S. Electoral College decisively confirmed Joe Biden as the next president of the republic, ratifying his November win in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of the reluctance of President Donald Trump to admit that he had lost.
Biden was granted a strong majority of 306 electoral votes by presidential electors to Trump’s 232, the same margin Trump bragged was a landslide as he won the White House four years ago.
In certain nations, heightened protection was in effect as electors gathered to cast paper ballots, the order of the day with masks, social distancing and other pandemic measures. The conclusions will be submitted to Washington and reported in a Jan 6 joint session of Congress to be led by Vice President Mike Pence.
There was no suspense and little improvement in any of Trump’s unsupported accusations of bribery, since both of the electoral votes allotted to Biden and the president in the popular vote last month formally went to each guy. On Election Day in the popular vote nationally, the Democrat topped the incumbent Republican by over 7 million.
The 55 electoral votes in California took Biden over the top. The first state to report was Vermont, with 3 votes. Hawaii was the last, with 4 votes.
“The rule of law, our Democracy, and the will of the people have flourished once again in America. In an evening speech in which he emphasised the scale of his victory and the record 81 million people who voted for him, Biden said that our democracy, challenged, checked, attacked, proved to be robust, real, and strong.
He renewed his campaign commitment to be president for all Americans, whether or not they voted for him, and said the nation is working hard on the epidemic and the economy ahead of it.
Yet there was no White House admission, under which Trump proceeded to make unsupported bribery charges.
According to White House and campaign aides, Trump stayed in the Oval Office well after the sun went down in Washington, contacting supporters and fellow Republicans while keeping track of the running Electoral College count. The president often ducked outside the Oval Office into the private dining room to watch on TV, arguing that it was viewed as a mini-Election Night by the cable networks despite not allowing his troubles any airtime.
The president was steadily dissatisfied with the scale of national “Stop the Steal” protests as well as attempts by the GOP to field its own electoral slates in states. A presidential appetite for fierce administration security led Stephen Miller, one of his most ferocious supporters, to TV interviews early Monday to attempt to downplay the impact of the Electoral College vote and imply that Trump’s legal threats will proceed all the way to Jan. 20 Inauguration Day.
He took to Twitter late in the day to reveal that before Christmas, Attorney General William Barr was exiting the administration. Barr’s departure comes amid lingering tension over Trump’s unfounded fraud charges, especially after Barr’s comment to The Associated Press this month that such fraud did not impact the election results.
In a weekend Fox News interview, Trump said I’m worried about the country having an illegitimate president, I’m worried about that.”
In low-key ceremonies, electors gave Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their votes on Monday in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the six swing states that Biden won and Trump challenged. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nevada’s electors met through Zoom.
Trump’s threats to discredit the outcome of the election have lead to fears about the electorate’s wellbeing, almost unheard of in previous years. Legislators on both sides have confirmed receiving threats in Michigan, and legislature offices have been suspended over threats of abuse. Biden carried the state over Trump by 154,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points.
Before Democratic voters vowed to meet Biden, Georgia state police were out of action at the state Capitol in Atlanta. No demonstrators were seen there.
Even with Biden’s victory being confirmed by the Electoral College, some Republicans continued to fail to accept the fact. Yet their opposition to Biden did not have any substantive effects on the democratic process, with the Democrat sworn in next month.
In a couple of states that Biden won, Republicans who would have become Trump electors meet instead. Republicans in Pennsylvania said they cast a “procedural vote for Trump and Pence in cases where courts that consistently dismissed objections to the win of Biden had still to decide that Trump had won anyway.
His electors came out to vote their votes correctly for him in North Carolina, Utah and other states around the country where Trump won. Before being allowed to reach the Capitol to vote, electors in North Carolina had their temperatures tested. As a Trump voter, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes withdrew and was in quarantine when anyone with COVID-19 was revealed to him.
Among New York’s 29 electors for Biden and Harris were former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Trump beat four years ago.