California’s electors cast their 55 votes for Biden this afternoon in a process that played out across the country and was covered by CNN. Although the Electoral College vote is typically a formality, Donald Trump’s court challenges and efforts to influence officials in key swing states gave new attention to the vote. Most Republicans on Capitol Hill have so far refused to recognize Biden as the President-elect, even though the networks and the Associated Press projected Biden as the winner on November 7.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had indicated that he would not recognize Biden as the President-elect until after the electoral votes were cast.
Biden will end up with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232.
More disconcerting has been Trump’s unfounded claims that the election was rigged or stolen from him. Even though his campaign and supporters have lost dozens of cases, and twice in the U.S. Supreme Court, he has refused to concede and continues to make false claims of electoral fraud.
2ND UPDATE, 12:15 PM PT: All six swing states where Donald Trump challenged the election results have now cast their votes for Joe Biden.
Michigan’s electors cast their 16 votes for Biden, after votes in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. So far, there have been no instances of “faithless electors,” or those who sought to cast ballots that diverged from the winner of the state’s popular vote.
As elsewhere, Michigan’s vote was not contentious, but the state Capitol was closed to the public after lawmakers reported “credible” threats of violence.
UPDATE, 9:37 AM PT: As electors cast their ballots in statehouses across the country, Donald Trump lost another challenge in court. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, rejected an appeal to throw out more than 220,000 ballots.
“The challenge to the indefinitely confined voter ballots is meritless on its face, and the other three categories of ballots challenged fail under the doctrine of laches,” the judges wrote.
Meanwhile, electors in some of the most hotly contested states began to cast their votes, including Nevada and Pennsylvania. In Georgia, Stacey Abrams, presiding over that state’s votes, announced the state’s 16 electors for Joe Biden. In New York, Bill and Hillary Clinton cast their votes, as they are Biden electors in those states.
Pennsylvania’s GOP issued a statement after the state’s 20 electors went to Biden. The party said that the 20 Trump electors met in Harrisburg to hold a “conditional vote” to preserve the president’s legal claims.
The coverage of the proceedings on CNN gave viewers a glimpse of an often overlooked and misunderstood part of the electoral process. Many of the electors met in legislative chambers, but other states, like Nevada, held their proceedings virtually, while Wisconsin electors met in a smaller, stately meeting room.
PREVIOUSLY: Electors began casting their ballots in Vermont on Monday, the first of 50 states and the District of Columbia that will ultimately give confirmation to what has been known for more than a month: Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the presidential election.
The Electoral College vote typically is a formality that garners scant news coverage. But Trump has made unfounded claims of election fraud, even after his campaign and his supporters have been turned back by dozens of judges and twice by the Supreme Court.
According to the results certified in states, Biden defeated Trump in the electoral college, 306-232.
Trump adviser Stephen Miller appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday and called the election “fraudulent,” while insisting that there was still time until the inauguration to contest the results and that there would be a slate of “alternate” Trump electors. But he blamed court losses on the media, saying, “The pressure from the corrupt corporate media to make everybody cave and bend is overwhelming.”
Biden will speak about the Electoral College vote on Monday evening.
After he prevails, a lot of the focus will be on whether Republicans in Congress, who have refused to acknowledge Biden as the winner, start referring to him as President-elect. That also will be true of some of Trump’s staunchest defenders on Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has refused to recognize Biden as President-elect, had previously said that he was waiting for the electoral vote.
The misinformation, rumor and innuendo surrounding the election — including the repeated claims that the election was stolen from Trump — have raised concerns of violence. Michigan closed the state Capitol to the public on Monday, amid “credible threats of violence,” according to the Washington Post.
The results will be certified by a joint session of Congress on January 6.
Trump’s latest court defeat came over the weekend, after U.S. District Judge Brett H. Ludwig dismissed a campaign lawsuit against the results in Wisconsin, a state that Biden won.
In the National Review, columnist Andrew McCarthy, who has been a defender of the president, wrote that Trump’s team has complained about a rigged election, but they have failed to present evidence even when courts have given them the opportunity to do so. McCarthy wrote that “every time a court offers him an opportunity to establish by proof what he is promoting by Twitter, Team Trump folds. Why is that?”