LANSING: US President-Elect Joe Biden took another step closer to the White House when key states on the electoral college officially confirmed their November 3 election victory on Monday, effectively ending President Donald Trump’s long-term attempt to reverse the results.
The traditional post-election polls from state to state have become overly important because of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud.
The November election results show that after four tumultuous years under the Republican trump card, Biden, the former Democratic vice president, won 306 electoral college votes – more than the 270 it took to win. Biden and run mate Kamala Harris will take office on January 20th.
There’s next to no chance Monday’s vote will undo Biden’s victory, and with Trump’s legal campaign to reverse the results stalling, the president’s hopes of holding onto power will be highlighted at a special US Congress meeting on Rest January 6th, when the odds against him are as good as insurmountable.
The oldest person to become US President at 78, Biden was due to deliver a speech on Monday (Tuesday, 1:00 am GMT) at 8:00 pm ET on “the electoral college and the strength and resilience of our democracy,” said to be Transition team in a statement.
Electoral College members in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin voted for Biden on Monday, confirming his victory on the battlefield that Trump tried unsuccessfully to fight in court.
The Arizona voters, who Trump lost that year after winning there in 2016, cast the state’s 11 votes for Biden.
“While there will be those who are upset that their candidate did not win, it is obviously un-American and unacceptable that today’s event should be anything but an honored tradition to be held with pride and celebration,” said the Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the vote.
Hobbs, a Democrat, said Trump’s allegations of electoral fraud “led to threats of violence against me, my office and those in this room today” and repeated similar reports of threats and intimidation in other states.
In a complicated system dating back to the 1780s, a candidate becomes US president by not winning a majority of the population’s vote, but through the electoral college, which assigns votes to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, based largely on size of their population.
Voters are typically loyalty to the party who represents the victorious candidate in their state, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which give the presidential candidate who has won in the state’s congressional districts a portion of their vote for the electoral college.
While there are sometimes a handful of “rogue” voters who vote for someone other than their state’s referendum winner, the vast majority are stamping the results, and officials didn’t expect otherwise on Monday.
Trump said late last month he would leave the White House if the electoral college votes for Biden, but has since continued his unprecedented campaign to undo his defeat and unsuccessfully filed numerous lawsuits against state votes.
On Monday he repeated a number of unsupported allegations of election fraud.
“Swing states that have found massive VOTER FRAUD, which is all of them, CANNOT LEGALLY certify these votes as complete and correct without committing a highly criminal crime,” he wrote on Twitter.
A group of Trump supporters called for protests on Facebook all day on Monday in front of the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, one of the most competitive states in which Trump lost.
But only a handful had gathered by early afternoon, including Bob Ray, 66, a retired construction worker. He was holding a sign that read, “Order Forensic Audit,” “Save America”, and “Stop Communism”.
Trump has urged Republican lawmakers to nominate their own voters, essentially ignoring the will of voters. The legislature has largely rejected the idea.
“I fought hard for President Trump. Nobody wanted him to win more than I did,” Lee Chatfield, Republican spokesman for the Michigan House of Representatives, said in a statement. “But I also love our republic. I can’t believe risking our norms, traditions and institutions to pass a resolution that changes voters for Trump retrospectively.”
Once the electoral college vote is over, Trump’s only remaining move will be to convince Congress not to confirm the January 6 count.
Any attempt to block the results of a state and thereby change the US balance sheet as a whole must take place on that day in both chambers of Congress. Republicans would most likely not remove Biden from office on Jan. 20 as planned, as Democrats control the House of Representatives and several Republican Senators recognized Biden’s victory.
In 2016, Trump won the electoral college despite losing nearly 3 million votes in the referendum to Democrat Hillary Clinton. The formal vote attracted particular attention when some Democratic activists called on voters to become “villains” against Trump. In the end, seven voters broke their ranks, an unusually high number but still far too few to affect the outcome.
In the Oval Office, Biden is faced with the challenging task of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, revitalizing the US economy, and rebuilding relationships with US allies overseas through Trump’s “America First” policy.
Even if the voting goes smoothly on Monday, Trump’s efforts – like encouraging state lawmakers to appoint their own “duel” voters – have exposed the potential flaws in the system, said Robert Alexander, a professor at Ohio Northern University who wrote a book wrote about the electoral college.
“There are a lot of landmines in the electoral college and this election really revealed a lot of them,” he said.
While voting is usually associated with pomp and circumstance, most events this year have been scaled back significantly due to the coronavirus pandemic.