On Monday, the Electoral College confirmed Joe Biden as the United States’ next President. The state-by-state vote officially ratifies his November victory—despite President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the election results.
The election took place six weeks ago. On Monday, the Electoral College met to officially cast votes. (For an explanation of the Electoral College, see Popular vs Electoral Vote.) The electors gave Mr. Biden the solid majority of 306 electoral votes to the President’s 232. The count reflected the same margin President Trump had when he won the White House four years ago.
Some states arranged for increased security around electors as they met to cast paper ballots. In Michigan, lawmakers from both parties reported receiving threats, and legislative offices were closed over threats of violence. Mr. Biden won the state by just 154,000 votes over President Trump.
Georgia state police were out in force in Atlanta before Democratic electors pledged to Mr. Biden met. There were no protesters seen.
For all the hoopla beforehand, there were no surprises: Every one of the electoral votes assigned to Mr. Biden and to the President in last month’s popular vote went officially to each man.
California’s 55 electoral votes put Mr. Biden over the top. Vermont, with three votes, was the first state to report. Hawaii, with four votes, was the last.
Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin electors—from the six battleground states that Biden won and Trump contested—gave Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their votes in low-key proceedings. Nevada’s electors met via Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans who would have been Trump electors met in a handful of states. Pennsylvania Republicans cast a “procedural vote” for President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence—just in case courts would somehow determine after the fact that they had won the state.
Stephen Miller, one of President Trump’s strongest allies, tried to downplay the importance of the Electoral College vote. He suggests that legal challenges will continue all the way to Inauguration Day on January 20.
Judges have repeatedly dismissed Republican legal challenges. Last week, President Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court to reject 62 electoral votes for the Biden-Harris ticket in four states. Removing those votes would have thrown the outcome into doubt. But the justices rejected the effort on Friday.
So far, President Trump has not accepted the election results. He continues to claim there was enough dishonesty to alter the outcome. Trump-nominated Attorney General William Barr disagrees. He assured the American public that the election outcome was accurate. Barr on Monday tendered his resignation from the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, President-elect Biden renewed his campaign promise to be a president for all Americans, whether they voted for him or not. He says the country has hard work ahead on the virus and economy.
“Once again in America, the rule of law, our Constitution, and the will of the people have prevailed,” President-elect Biden says. “Our democracy—pushed, tested, threatened—proved to be resilient, true, and strong.”
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. — Romans 12:8
(President-elect Joe Biden speaks after the Electoral College formally elected him to the highest office in the nation on Monday, December 14, 2020. AP/Patrick Semansky)