California’s presidential electors officially made Joe Biden the president-elect, casting the state’s 55 Electoral College votes for the former vice president.
Each state’s designees to the College met on Monday to assign Electoral College votes, ballots based on ones cast by voters either by mail or in-person. California’s haul of 55 votes pushed Mr Biden over the 270 needed to become president-elect.
Before California’s electors voted, My Biden stood at 247 votes. Once their work was done, he had 302, well over the threshold of victory.
Mr Biden is slated to address the country at 7:30 p.m. ET, during which he will again declare the election over and call for unity even as Donald Trump continues challenges the legality of millions of ballots he wants thrown out.
“If anyone didn’t know it before, we know it now. What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: democracy. The right to be heard. To have your vote counted. To choose the leaders of this nation. To govern ourselves,” Mr Biden will say, according to speech excerpts released by his transition office.
“In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them,” he will say. “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.”
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Other western states soon will cast their ballots, and Mr Biden is expected to end up with 306 and Mr Trump 232.
That was the margin four years ago when Mr Trump defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At that time, the outgoing president called his win a “landslide.”
This time, he calls the election “rigged.” His supporters chant “stop the steal,” and most congressional Republicans and Vice President Mike Pence are standing by the GOP chief executive. On Friday, the VP told a rally in Georgia he has “doubts” about the election’s outcome.
The Electoral College results next go to Congress. A joint session on 6 January will convene to certify the Electoral results.
At least one House conservative, Alabama’s Mo Brooks, plans to challenge the outcome – but he has yet to announce whether he has found the required one senator to join him. If one does, the chambers will meet separately to assess the challenge.
Mr Trump says his legal challenges will continue. But team Trump has yet to release evidence of voter fraud, either in public remarks or, more importantly, in court.
Numerous federal judges rejected the president’s argument, including some nominated by Mr Trump.Photo Credit: Getty