Joe Biden has been confirmed as the next US president as the Electoral College formalized his victory over Donald Trump, all but closing the door on the incumbent’s efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election.
California, the most populous state in the US, delivered its 55 electoral votes to Biden on Monday afternoon, officially taking him over the 270 votes needed to secure the White House.
When all of the states finish voting, Biden is expected to lead Mr. Trump 306-232 despite the outgoing president still refusing to accept the outcome, falsely insisting that he won the election. On Sunday, the president tweeted: “Votes cannot be certified. This election is under protest!”
The Congress will meet on January 6 to certify the electoral college votes. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are due to be sworn in at noon on January 20, 2021.
This year, the somewhat arcane Electoral College procedure was at the center of an ugly — and many warn dangerous — challenge led by Trump against the credibility of US democracy. Soundly beaten by Biden on November 3, Trump continues to claim, without evidence, that he was the real winner.
Court after court has turned down the Republican team’s claims of election fraud and last Friday the US Supreme Court dealt a final legal blow when it threw out an appeal lodged by Trump allies from Texas and other Republican-led states.
Formal Electoral College confirmation drew a further line under the election, which saw Biden make Trump a rare one-term president after campaigning on a message of vanquishing the Covid-19 pandemic, healing political division and restoring traditional US diplomacy.
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