WASHINGTON (AP) — 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…
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