Tuesday October 19th, 2021 3:22PM

Biden clears 270-vote mark as electors affirm his victory

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Electoral College gave Joe Biden a solid majority of its votes Monday, confirming his victory in last month's election in state-by-state voting that took on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he lost.

California's 55 electoral votes put Biden over the top, clearing the 270-vote mark that affirmed he will be the nation's next president.

Heightened security was in place in some states as electors met on the day established by federal law. Electors cast paper ballots in gatherings that took place in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with masks, social distancing and other virus precautions the order of the day. The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.

There was little suspense and no change as all the electoral votes allocated to Biden and Trump in last month's popular vote went to each man.

When all the votes are in, Biden was expected to have 306 to 232 for Trump. Biden topped Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote nationwide.

“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said in remarks prepared for an evening speech. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.”

Biden renewed his campaign promise to be a president for all Americans, whether they voted for him or not, and said the country has hard work ahead on the virus and economy.

But there was no concession from the White House, where Trump has continued to make unsupported allegations of fraud.

Trump remained in the Oval Office long after the sun set in Washington, calling allies and fellow Republicans while keeping track of the running Electoral College tally, according to White House and campaign aides. The president frequently ducked into the private dining room off the Oval Office to watch on TV, complaining that the cable networks were treating it like a mini-Election Night while not giving his challenges any airtime.

The president had grown increasingly disappointed with the size of “Stop the Steal” rallies across the nation as well as efforts for the GOP to field its own slates of electors in states. A presidential wish for a fierce administration defense led to TV appearances early Monday by Stephen Miller, one of his most ferocious advocates, to try to downplay the importance of the Electoral College vote and suggest that Trump’s legal challenges would continue all the way to Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

In a Fox News interview taped over the weekend, Trump said that “I worry about the country having an illegitimate president, that’s what I worry about. A president that lost and lost badly.”

On Monday in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — the six battleground states that Biden won and Trump contested — electors gave Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their votes in low-key proceedings. Nevada’s electors met via Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump's efforts to undermine the election results also led to concerns about safety for the electors, virtually unheard of in previous years. In Michigan, lawmakers from both parties reported receiving threats, and legislative offices were closed over threats of violence. Biden won the state by 154,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points, over Trump.

Georgia state police were out in force at the state Capitol in Atlanta before Democratic electors pledged to Biden met. There were no protesters seen.

Even with the Electoral College's confirmation of Biden’s victory, some Republicans continued to refuse to acknowledge that reality. Yet their opposition to Biden had no practical effect on the electoral process, with the Democrat to be sworn in next month.

Despite Biden’s wins in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Republicans who would have been Trump electors met in those states anyway. Pennsylvania Republicans said they cast a “procedural vote” for Trump and Pence in case courts that have repeatedly rejected challenges to Biden’s victory were to somehow still determine that Trump had won.

In North Carolina, Utah and other states across the country where Trump won, his electors turned out to duly cast their ballots for him. Electors in North Carolina had their temperatures checked before being allowed to enter the Capitol to vote. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes withdrew as a Trump elector and was in quarantine because he was exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated four years ago, were among New York's 29 electors for Biden and Harris.

In New Hampshire, before the state’s four electors voted for Biden at the State House in Concord, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. He had delivered a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention in August about the struggle with stuttering he shares with Biden.

Following weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by judges, Trump and Republican allies tried to persuade the Supreme Court last week to set aside 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which might have thrown the outcome into doubt.

The justices rejected the effort on Friday.

In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this arrangement in July.

Electors almost always vote for the state winner anyway because they generally are devoted to their political parties. There was no reason to expect any defections this year.

The Electoral College was the product of compromise during the drafting of the Constitution between those who favored electing the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to directly choose their leader.

Each state gets a number of electors equal to its total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus however many members the state has in the House of Representatives. Washington, D.C., has three votes, under a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.

The bargain struck by the nation's founders has produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote. Trump was the most recent example in 2016.


Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire and AP writers across the United States contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Nurse becomes 1st in Oklahoma to get vaccine
An Oklahoma City emergency room nurse has become the first person in the state to be vaccinated with Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine
5:36PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Biden clears 270-vote mark as electors affirm his victory
Joe Biden has cleared the 270-vote mark needed to win the presidency with California’s 55 electoral votes
5:30PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Crunch time for COVID-19 relief as bipartisan bills unveiled
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is unveiling a proposal for COVID-19 relief as Congress searches for a final agreement
5:22PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
U.S. stocks end mostly lower after an early rally evaporates
Stocks ended mostly lower on Wall Street Monday after an early rally evaporated
4:52PM ( 46 minutes ago )
UAW agrees to monitor, voting changes after corruption probe
An independent monitor will watch the United Auto Workers' finances and members will decide how they pick future leaders under a reform agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office
4:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
US agencies, companies secure networks after huge hack
U.S. government agencies and private companies rushed Monday to secure their computer networks following the disclosure of a sophisticated and long-running cyber-espionage intrusion
4:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
US blames Iran in abduction, death of ex-FBI agent Levinson
The U.S. government is for the first time formally blaming Iran for the presumed death of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson
3:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Electors meeting to formally choose Biden as next president
Presidential electors coast to coast are casting the votes that will choose Joe Biden as the nation’s next president, a formality that has taken on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he lost his race for reelection
3:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
'Big Sky' stumbles in addressing Native American criticism
After ABC’s “Big Sky” drew Native American criticism for overlooking violence against Indigenous women and girls, its producers set about making changes
2:13PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Biden to say abuse of power can't stop democracy
In a prime-time speech after the Electoral College vote, President-elect Joe Biden is set to declare that “not even
4:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Wisconsin casts its 10 electoral votes for Biden
Wisconsin has cast its 10 Electoral College votes for Democrat Joe Biden
2:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top US officials expected to get COVID-19 vaccine this week
Senior U.S. officials will begin receiving coronavirus vaccines this week as part of updated federal continuity of government plans that now include terrorism and pandemics as threats to the nation and its leaders
2:12PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Census numbers-crunching documents at center of latest fight
A federal judge has rejected an emergency request from the Trump administration that would stop it from being immediately forced to release documents showing how the 2020 census numbers have been crunched in the weeks since the U.S. head count ended in October
12:09PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Battleground Nevada electors vote for Biden
Nevada’s six Democratic presidential electors have awarded their votes for Joe Biden, becoming the first slate of electors from a battleground state to cast their votes
12:00PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: Electors begin casting their votes for president
Electors from the first states have cast their votes
11:37AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Company targeted by vote fraud claims strikes back at Trump
The head of an electronic voting company being targeted by allies of President Donald Trump said baseless claims that it helped flip the 2020 election for Joe Biden threaten to undermine Americans’ faith in democracy
3:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Ivory Coast President Ouattara inaugurated for third term
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara was inaugurated Monday for a third term in office amid ongoing outcries from opposition parties
11:03AM ( 6 hours ago )
US looking into possible computer hacks of federal agencies
Hackers got into computers at the U.S. Treasury Department and possibly other federal agencies, touching off a government response involving the National Security Council
4:52PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Tempers flare as Trump supporters rally in Washington
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump returned to Washington for weekend rallies to back his desperate efforts to subvert the election that he lost to Joe Biden
12:12AM ( 1 day ago )
EXPLAINER: What’s in store when the Electoral College meets
Voters cast their ballots for president more than a month ago, but the votes that officially matter will be cast Monday
12:09AM ( 1 day ago )
Trump helicopter buzzes supporters rallying in Washington
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump have returned to Washington for rallies Saturday to back his desperate efforts to subvert the election that he lost to Joe Biden
6:08PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Venezuela opposition holds 'consultation' to bolster support
Adversaries of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro invited Venezuelans to voice their frustrations with the president in a national survey
2:41PM ( 2 days ago )
As he rails on election, Trump largely mum on toll of virus
President Donald Trump has highlighted lots of big numbers this week
12:22AM ( 2 days ago )
Tom Vilsack faces new challenges as he returns to old job
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Tom Vilsack to take back his old job at the Agriculture Department, saying his eight years of experience at the department under former President Barack Obama would ensure quicker help to rural and poor areas that are “reeling” from the pandemic and economic downturn
12:10AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Crunch time for COVID-19 relief as bipartisan bills unveiled
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is unveiling a proposal for COVID-19 relief as Congress searches for a final agreement
5:22PM ( 17 minutes ago )
'Healing is coming': US health workers start getting vaccine
The largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history is underway with health workers getting the first shots on the same day the nation’s COVID-19 death toll hit a staggering 300,000
5:19PM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: GOP Michigan congressman becoming an independent
U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, a retiring Republican from Michigan, says he is disaffiliating from the GOP and becoming an independent for the rest of his term
5:12PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Battleground states vote as electors formally choose Biden
Presidential electors in key battleground states have cast the votes that will affirm Joe Biden as the nation’s next president
5:11PM ( 28 minutes ago )
'Democracy prevailed': Biden aims to unify divided nation
President-elect Joe Biden will tell Americans on Monday that “democracy prevailed” as electors across the country cast votes affirming his victory in last month’s election
5:11PM ( 28 minutes ago )