WASHINGTON – The electoral college voted on Monday to cement President-elect Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in this year's presidential election.
The ballots were cast throughout the day by individual voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and reflect their state's referendum.
Just before 5:30 p.m. ET, California voters cast their 55 votes for Biden, pushing him past the crucial 270-vote threshold. Around 7.15 p.m., Hawaii cast the last 4 votes of the day for Biden, who won a total of 306 votes. Trump won 232 votes.
Biden plans to address the nation on Monday evening, where he will stress that "the integrity of our elections remains intact".
"So now is the time to turn the page. To unite. To heal," Biden will say, according to speech clips released through the transition.
Democratic Electress Stacey Abrams guides her fellow voters through the process of voting for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris in the Georgia Senate Chambers in the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, Jan. . December. 2020.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters
Voting in the electoral college is usually a formality that takes place more than a month after the vote is cast on election day. But Trump's unprecedented legal and legislative efforts to reverse election results this year have made the process more important.
The president, his campaigning and political allies have filed dozens of lawsuits since election day, urging federal and state courts to invalidate the election results on countless unsubstantiated allegations of irregularities.
These efforts failed repeatedly, prompting the president to change tactics in early December and personally pressure the Republican legislature to intervene in the selection of individual voters. This has also failed so far.
However, Trump continues to falsely claim that he is not Biden, the legitimate winner of the November election, and that he was the victim of a massive, coordinated nationwide conspiracy to change the votes in Biden's favor.
In Pennsylvania (below) and Arizona, two major swing states that Biden won, Trump supporters met outside their state capitals on Monday to protest the election of the electoral college.
A small group of Trump supporters march with flags as voters gather to cast their votes for the U.S. presidential election at the State Capitol complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the United States, on December 14, 2020.
Joanathan Ernst | Reuters
In Michigan, voters were given police IDcorts under threat of violence in the state capital. A Republican official was stripped of committee assignments by GOP leaders Monday after refusing to rule out violence in the capital Lansing during the election.
Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans, fearful of angering their Trump-loving voters, have largely lagged behind the president and have refused to recognize Biden's victory.
Once voters have officially registered their votes for the President and Vice-President, the next big event in the electoral college process will be a joint congressional session on January 6th when both houses will officially count the votes.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to lead the January 6th trial in his formal role as President of the Senate. These tasks also include announcing the results.
All congressional objections to voting must be submitted in writing and signed by at least one member of the House and one senator. If an objection is raised, the two chambers will consider the objection separately.
Alabama Republican MP Mo Brooks has already announced that he will be questioning the results of the House Electoral College census. In the Senate, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson has not ruled out filing a similar objection.
But not all Republicans endorse Brooks' plan to increase the number of elections to question the results that are sure to fail. And several Republican senators, who have yet to publicly acknowledge Biden's victory, have announced that they will accept the results of Monday's vote in the electoral college as the final verdict on the 2020 presidential election.
Still, some Republicans' rejection of Biden's victory in Congress is likely to extend into January and beyond.
In a December 6 poll by the Washington Post of all 249 Republicans in Congress, only 27 said they would accept Biden as legally elected president. Another 220 GOP lawmakers gave an unclear answer or did not answer, and two, Brooks and Rep. Paul A. Gosar of Arizona, believed Trump was the rightful election winner.
Since election day, Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris have tried largely to defy Trump's increasingly desperate campaign to reverse the results.
While a small team of Biden campaign lawyers monitor Trump's lawsuits, the former vice president goes through a formal transition process, announcing his candidates for his new cabinet, and putting forward a plan to aggressively fight the coronavirus pandemic during his first 100 days in office .
Biden and Harris are sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States on January 20, the day of their inauguration.