After the vote tallies finished in November and the state certifications finished in December and, one by one, the lawsuits failed to persuade the courts of fraud or wrongdoing, the Electoral College on Monday made it officially official:
A majority of the electors who represent every state as well as Washington, D.C., voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president, according to the Associated Press and The New York Times.
Hawaii was the final state to vote in the Electoral College, Monday night.
California's electors put Biden over the 270-vote threshold.
The usually little-watched procedure took place throughout the day, across the country, as the 538 presidential electors cast ballots according to their state’s popular vote winner.
President-elect Biden defeated President Donald Trump 306-232 in the Electoral College — the same result that was projected by media outlets days after the Nov. 3 election, even as Trump began bellowing on social media and in front of TV cameras that the election was "stolen."
He offered no proof and both the courts and investigators resoundingly rejected his complaints and those of his allies. Local elections officials from both parties said they found no widespread fraud.
Nonetheless, in an unprecedented move that Trump had previewed while campaigning, he refused to concede or say whether he will attend Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.
Last week, in a last-ditch legal push, Trump backed a suit filed by Texas that sought to toss out some 20 million ballots in four states that voted for Biden — an attack on the election itself.
(The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.)
Biden received more than 81 million votes, the most votes ever cast for a presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Trump received some 74 million votes, the second highest total, reflecting the high levels of interest in the election and the historic number of mail ballots during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Biden is expected to speak Monday night from Wilmington, Delaware, where he has been preparing his nascent administration.
"In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed," he will say, according to excerpts provided by his transition team.
"Now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal," Biden will say in his speech.
"As I said through this campaign, I will be a president for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me, as I will for those who did."
Biden has recently named his top White House aides, made Cabinet picks and laid out some of his initial plans for his administration’s first 100 days in office.
The presidential electors who voted Monday will now send their results to Washington, D.C., where Congress will affirm the votes on Jan. 6 in a joint session with Vice President Mike Pence.
Though that step is also procedural — the last in the chain of the vote-counting process, before Jan. 20's inauguration — some Republicans have said they will mount an objection in Congress in a final bid to overturn Biden's win.
Given the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, however, such efforts are almost certain to fail beyond further underlining GOP disdain for the election they lost.
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