Electoral College formally elects Joe Biden as next president

“In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them,” Biden plans to say in his address to the nation on Monday night.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris jointly named Time's 'Person of the Year' (photo credit: REUTERS)
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris jointly named Time's 'Person of the Year'
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Electors gathered across the 50 US states and the District of Columbia on Monday to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. While the process is yet to be complete, Biden got the support of 302 electors compared to Trump’s 232, with no “faithless electors” casting their vote contrary to the voters in their respective states.
Some 270 electors are needed to win. California’s 55 electors passed Biden over the threshold. Hawaii will cast the remaining four electoral votes later tonight and is expected to put Biden at 306 votes.
Under a complicated system dating back to the 1780s, a candidate becomes US president not by winning a majority of the popular vote but through an Electoral College system, which allots electoral votes to the 50 states and the District of Columbia largely based on their population. In all states plus the District of Columbia – except for Maine and Nebraska – it is winner-takes-all, meaning that all of their electoral votes go to the candidate who won in that jurisdiction.
Biden is expected to address the nation tonight and say that now “it is time to turn the page, to unite, to heal,” according to the transition team's press release. “In America, politicians don’t take power – the people grant it to them,” Biden plans to say.
“As I said through this campaign, I will be a president for all Americans,” Biden will say. “I will work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me, as I will for those who did.”
“There is urgent work in front of all of us,” the press release reads. “Getting the pandemic under control by getting the nation vaccinated against this virus. Delivering immediate economic help so badly needed by so many Americans who are hurting today –and then building our economy back better than ever.
“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden is expected to say. “We the People voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact.”
Once the Electoral College vote is complete, Trump’s sole remaining gambit would be to convince Congress not to certify the count on January 6. Any attempt to block a state’s results, and thus change the overall US tally, must pass in both chambers of Congress on that day. Republicans would very likely fail to stop Biden taking office as planned on January 20 because Democrats control the House of Representatives and several Republican senators have acknowledged Biden’s victory.
Trump has called on Republican state legislators to appoint their own electors, essentially ignoring the will of the voters. State lawmakers have largely dismissed the idea. Trump said late last month that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for Biden, but has since pressed on with his unprecedented campaign to overturn his defeat, filing without success numerous lawsuits challenging state vote counts.
On Monday, he repeated a series of false claims of electoral fraud. “Swing States that have found massive VOTER FRAUD, which is all of them, CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete & correct without committing a severely punishable crime,” he wrote on Twitter.