The United States Electoral College on Monday confirmed Democrat leader Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential elections, closing the doors for outgoing President Donald Trump to challenge the result, CNN reported.
California, with 55 electors, took Biden past the 270-mark required to win the presidency. The state was one of the last to vote on Monday. Biden is expected to win the Electoral College vote – the state-by-state competition deciding the winner – by 306 to 232. Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of Jamaican and Indian heritage to occupy the post, will be his vice president.
Strong security arrangements were made in some states as electors gathered to cast paper ballots while following coronavirus related safety precautions, AP reported. On January 6, the results will be sent to Washington to be tallied at a joint session of the Congress.
In a speech after the Electoral College vote, Biden said that “the rule of law, our Constitution and the will of the people prevailed” over the attempts to overturn the election result, according to CNN. “The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame.”
Biden hit out at Trump and the Republicans for trying to undo the election results with lawsuits. “This legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials and one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than 20 million [2 crore] Americans in other states and to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College,” he was quoted as saying by CNN. “It’s a position so extreme, we’ve never seen it before.”
The incoming US president added that it was now time to “turn the page, to unite, to heal.” “In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact.”
In a television interview on November 29, Trump had suggested that he will never concede to Biden and continued to claim, without evidence, that the election was rigged.
Last week, the US Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit backed by Trump that sought to invalidate the presidential election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all of which were won by Biden. On December 8, the court had refused to stop Pennsylvania from certifying Biden’s victory.
The Trump campaign and its supporters have tried and failed to convince judges of election irregularities in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, all of which were critical to Biden’s victory. A request for recount in Wisconsin also confirmed on November 29 that Biden had won the key swing state by a margin of about 20,600 votes, AP reported.