Biden Clears 270-Vote Mark As Electors Affirm His Victory

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FILE - Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a primary night election rally Saturday in Columbia, S.C., after winning the South Carolina primary (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

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The Electoral College gave Joe Biden a solid majority of its votes Monday, confirming his victory in last month’s election in state-by-state voting that took on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he lost.

California’s 55 electoral votes put Biden over the top, clearing the 270-vote mark that affirmed he will be the nation’s next president.

Heightened security was in place in some states as electors met on the day established by federal law. Electors cast paper ballots in gatherings that took place in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with masks, social distancing and other virus precautions the order of the day. The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.

There was little suspense and no change as all the electoral votes allocated to Biden and Trump in last month’s popular vote went to each man.

When all the votes are in, Biden was expected to have 306 to 232 for Trump. Biden topped Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote nationwide.

“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said in remarks prepared for an evening speech. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.”

Biden renewed his campaign promise to be a president for all Americans, whether they voted for him or not, and said the country has hard work ahead on the virus and economy.

But there was no concession from the White House, where Trump has continued to make unsupported allegations of fraud.

Trump remained in the Oval Office long after the sun set in Washington, calling allies and fellow Republicans while keeping track of the running Electoral College tally, according to White House and campaign aides. The president frequently ducked into the private dining room off the Oval Office to watch on TV, complaining that the cable networks were treating it like a mini-Election Night while not giving his challenges any airtime.

The president had grown increasingly disappointed with the size of “Stop the Steal” rallies across the nation as well as efforts for the GOP to field its own slates of electors in states. A presidential wish for a fierce administration defense led to TV appearances early Monday by Stephen Miller, one of his most ferocious advocates, to try to downplay the importance of the Electoral College vote and suggest that Trump’s legal challenges would continue all the way to Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

In a Fox News interview taped over the weekend, Trump said that “I worry about the country having an illegitimate president, that’s what I worry about. A president that lost and lost badly.”

On Monday in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the six battleground states that Biden won and Trump contested — electors gave Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their votes in low-key proceedings. Nevada’s electors met via Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s efforts to undermine the election results also led to concerns about safety for the electors, virtually unheard of in previous years. In Michigan, lawmakers from both parties reported receiving threats, and legislative offices were closed over threats of violence. Biden won the state by 154,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points, over Trump.

Georgia state police were out in force at the state Capitol in Atlanta before Democratic electors pledged to Biden met. There were no protesters seen.

Even with the Electoral College’s confirmation of Biden’s victory, some Republicans continued to refuse to acknowledge that reality. Yet their opposition to Biden had no practical effect on the electoral process, with the Democrat to be sworn in next month.

Despite Biden’s wins in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Republicans who would have been Trump electors met in those states anyway. Pennsylvania Republicans said they cast a “procedural vote” for Trump and Pence in case courts that have repeatedly rejected challenges to Biden’s victory were to somehow still determine that Trump had won.

In North Carolina, Utah and other states across the country where Trump won, his electors turned out to duly cast their ballots for him. Electors in North Carolina had their temperatures checked before being allowed to enter the Capitol to vote. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes withdrew as a Trump elector and was in quarantine 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 New York’s 29 electors for Biden and Harris.

In New Hampshire, before the state’s four electors voted for Biden at the State House in Concord, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. He had delivered a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention in August about the struggle with stuttering he shares with Biden.

Following weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to set aside 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which might have thrown the outcome into doubt.

The justices rejected the effort on Friday.

In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this arrangement in July.

Electors almost always vote for the state winner anyway because they generally are devoted to their political parties. There was no reason to expect any defections this year.

The Electoral College was the product of compromise during the drafting of the Constitution between those who favored electing the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to directly choose their leader.

Each state gets a number of electors equal to its total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus however many members the state has in the House of Representatives. Washington, D.C., has three votes, under a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.

The bargain struck by the nation’s founders has produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote. Trump was the most recent example in 2016.

(AP)


6 COMMENTS

  1. Biden Clears 270-Vote Mark As Electors Affirm His Victory Let’s rephrase this heading to reflect the pure unadulterated truth:- Biden Clears 270-Burglary Mark As Electors Affirmed President Donald Trump to a 2nd term and had their votes ignored by the reprogrammed voting machine.

  2. I still expect to see the Trumkopf continue his pathetic antics to raise funds off his mindless “resistance” efforts. About $200 million thusfar and that was as of early December. As others have noted, most of those funds are not earmarked for legal costs but go into a general purpose slush fund (aka PAC) that he can use at his discretion. The fact that so many Trumkopf chassidim are willing to throw nearly a quarter billion dollars of their money down this hole is truly amazing. Gotta give him credit. Even Crazy Joe’s alleged Ukrainian deals were pennies compared to the Trumkpof’s ability to take money out of the pockets of this “true believers”.

  3. Of course there is no concession…and there shouldn’t be one. The real evidence of fraud is first coming out. A forensic audit was completed of 8 voting machines in Michigan and the Federal Circuit judge just lifted the gag order. There is confirmed real fraud in Dominion machines. The error rate, which allows “corrections” is set to an astounding 68%. You can read all about it on NEWSMAX. The “coronation” of Biden is still a bit premature!!!

  4. Bye, bye American pie the sheker has won a great victory with treachery and cheating. Jews should be very concerned about becoming scapegoats from all the corrupt people involved in the great evil steal of an election