Joseph R. Biden Jr. was confirmed as president-elect on Monday as members of the Electoral College pushed him past the 270 threshold to win the White House, virtually ending a disruptive chapter in American history in which President Trump has sought to use the law political challenges and pressures to overturn free and fair election results.
The president-elect crossed the threshold after California cast its 55 votes for Mr Biden on Monday night, closing a day marked by increased security in battlefield states and an unusual level of control over what is normally a formal and procedural matter.
With Mr. Trump’s supporters promising to hold protests outside of certain states, officials have taken additional steps to keep voters safe. Michigan lawmakers, citing credible threats, closed the Capitol building to the public, as did Wisconsin, where Madison voters were ushered into a side entrance of the State Capitol for the midday vote.
Yet Monday’s votes went smoothly; no demonstration interrupted the proceedings. Indeed, in many battlefield states, the police presence was greater than that of the protesters, and the normally busy process led by the Electoral College went uninterrupted.
“It’s not just out of tradition, but to show people, especially now more than ever, that our system is working,” Gov. Chris Sununu, Republican Gov. of New Hampshire, said before voters in his state voted. all for Mr. Biden on Monday morning.
Monday’s vote officially sends Mr Biden to the White House, assuming the presidency after a grueling election marked by deep divisions and a devastating pandemic that has crippled the country and disrupted the vote. Mr Biden has been working aggressively to fill his cabinet to prepare for taking office in January, with the aim of having a team ready to tackle the coronavirus and begin the long recovery.
The president-elect is expected to speak tonight on the results of the electoral college.
The vote follows six weeks of unprecedented efforts by Mr. Trump to intervene in the electoral process and change the outcome of an election he lost by around seven million votes. He was joined by many Republicans who supported his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, including 126 party members and 17 state attorneys general who supported a Supreme Court case that legal experts said was baseless. The court dismissed the case on Friday.