Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden secured the vote of the Electoral College on Monday, with electors from the 50 states and the District of Columbia affirming the results of November’s election despite a number of direct legal challenges from President Donald Trump.
California’s 55 electors, who cast their ballots at 5 pm EST, solidified Biden’s hold on the Electoral College, giving the Democrat 302 votes in the Electoral College to President Trump’s 232. Hawaii will finish out the vote, casting ballots at 7 pm EST. Biden is expected to end the contest with 306 electoral votes.
Voting began at 10 am EST Monday morning with New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Vermont casting their first-in-the-nation votes. Biden took a significant lead early, with Trump coming close only in the late afternoon after Texas’ electors cast their ballots.
After today’s vote, which formalizes the results of the November election, the contest goes to Congress, where both houses are expected to vote to certify Biden as the winner on January 6th.
The development comes as President Trump’s legal team continues its efforts to challenge vote tallies in several key states. Since November 4th, the president and his legal team have waged a multi-front war to block a Biden victory.
In a last-ditch effort to contest official results and preserve existing challenges, Republicans chose alternate slates of electors to vote for the president in five battleground states. That list included Georgia and Michigan, where the Trump campaign has made allegations of widespread voter irregularities, but where the Trump team’s legal challenges to official vote tallies failed.
“As we speak, today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,” White House senior aide Stephen Miller told Fox News Monday morning. “This will ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open.”
The plan, however, promised little success — a state’s official electors are certified by that state’s governor and are the only electors with any recognized legal authority. The alternate electors were not allowed to vote and in Michigan, where official electors told media they feared violence from Trump supporters, the alternate electors were not allowed into the capitol building.
“By midday,” The Associated Press reported, “votes had been cast for Biden in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona Georgia, and Nevada, the major battleground states in this year’s election.”
Although the election process has now largely played out, President Trump said in an interview with Fox News Sunday that he intends to keep pressing forward with legal challenges. This is despite setbacks in all battleground states and a loss at the Supreme Court, which refused to take up a case brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton with the support of 18 state attorneys general and much of the GOP’s congressional caucus.
A number of House Republicans have raised the possibility of refusing to certify the Electoral College vote — an effort that would take just one agreeable member of the House and one Senator — but it’s not clear the idea has widespread support.