Joe Biden is expected to be officially chosen as the next president of the United States on Monday, as presidential voters gather in states across the country to vote despite opposition from Donald Trump and his supporters.
The exercise is a crucial step in consolidating Mr. Biden’s victory over Mr. Trump, setting the stage for the former vice president to be sworn in as the 46th U.S. president next month.
The Electoral College meeting is usually a buffer exercise that receives little attention, but it has become highly politicized this year given Trump’s refusal to concede defeat. The president and some of his aides insisted that voters should ignore the election day results and vote for him.
In Michigan, a swinging Midwestern state where Mr. Biden beat Mr. Trump, state officials shut down the state capital over “credible threats of violence” ahead of Monday’s meeting. Republican state lawmaker censored by his party after refusing to rule out violence in a local radio interview.
Mr. Biden is expected to deliver a speech Monday night after voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia vote. Voters will vote throughout the day, and by noon, several states had completed the process, including the major battlefields of Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Over 150 million Americans voted on polling day, with a record over 80 million votes cast for Mr. Biden, the Democratic candidate, while around 74 million Americans voted for Mr. Trump, the outgoing Republican.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the president and vice president are officially chosen not by popular vote but by the Electoral College, an obscure system in which large states have more voters and small states have fewer. .
Each state’s voters count matches its congressional representatives, and 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.
Based on the Nov. 3 results, Mr Biden is expected to receive 306 Electoral College votes while Mr Trump is expected to get 232 after voters gathered on Monday and cast their ballots in 50 state capitals, plus the District of Columbia. . A majority of states legally require voters to approve the winner of the popular vote in their state.
But Mr Trump refused to accept the result, wrongly insisting that he won the election. On Sunday, the President tweeted: “VOTES CANNOT BE CERTIFIED. THIS ELECTION IS UNDER PROTEST! “
During this time, several Republican Senators urged Mr. Trump’s supporters to accept the election results. Bill Cassidy, Republican Senator from Louisiana, told CNN on Sunday: “If we are a nation of laws and that’s the constitution and that’s the law.” . . then Biden will be our next president.
Lamar Alexander, the outgoing Republican senator from Tennessee and a close ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, told NBC: “The courts have resolved the differences. It looks like voters will vote for Joe Biden.
Mr. Trump and his allies have repeatedly sought to use the U.S. legal system to overturn the November 3 results. Their efforts, supported by unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud, have been repeatedly overturned by the courts.
Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the unprecedented attempt by the state of Texas to reject election results in four states where Mr. Trump lost to Mr. Biden.
Voters voted twice, one for the president and one for the vice-president. Votes will be formally counted at a joint session of Congress in early January, ahead of Mr. Biden’s inauguration on January 20.