Electoral College members in all six battleground states where President Donald Trump most fiercely contested the results cast their ballots for Democrat Joe Biden on Monday, appearing to cut off the president’s path to overturning the election.
The vote marks the watershed moment some Republican lawmakers have said would signal the end of their support for attempts to overturn the Nov. 3 election.
The 16 electors in Michigan voted for Biden, following the 63 votes cast for him earlier in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden will have enough electoral votes to be officially declared president-elect when members have cast 270 ballots, which is expected after California votes. Congress will officially count the votes on Jan. 6.
Electors in 50 U.S. states and District of Columbia are voting for president and vice president in time-honored constitutional ceremonies that have drawn new attention this year after Trump refused to concede and insisted that the election was “rigged.”
Many Republicans have refused to recognize Biden’s victory as a resuylt of those claims, saying the president had a right to pursue legal challenges and to let the process play out. And now, with electors casting their votes, it seemingly has.
Still, the president is continuing his challenges, with roughly five weeks to go until the inauguration date of Jan. 20.
“The Electoral College obviously brings some finality to this,” Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, told reporters last week. And South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Trump ally, said when asked whether the president should concede, “I’ll talk to you December the 14th.”
Trump said on Fox News on Sunday that he’ll continue to fight the results, even after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a bid by Texas to nullify the election results in four of the six battleground states — a case the president had called “the big one” that was supported by Republican attorneys general in 18 states and 126 Republican members of Congress.
On Monday, Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer tweeted that Republican electors in the state also met at the state capitol to cast votes for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence because a Trump campaign lawsuit contesting the state’s results is still pending. Former U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania said the Trump electors in the commonwealth also held “conditional” votes in case a court were to overturn the results.The idea is to send a rival slate of electors for Congress to consider. But there’s only one certified slate of electors that Congress can recognize from a state, and their move is “not going to work as a matter of law,” said Edward Foley, a professor and director of an election-law program at Ohio State University who has studied disputed elections.
Biden plans to deliver remarks at 8 p.m. “on the Electoral College vote certification and the strength and resilience of our democracy,” his transition team announced.
The president’s campaign and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits seeking to invalidate Biden’s victories in the battleground states, and almost all were rejected for lack of evidence of fraud. The president has been pressuring Republicans in Congress and in states to help him overturn the election, and has urged state legislators to appoint rival Trump electors.
Rick Bloomingdale, a Biden elector in Pennsylvania, said before the meeting at the state capitol in Harrisburg that he was confident his vote would be counted and that Trump’s efforts to overturn the election would fail.
“At noon on January 20th, Joe Biden’s going to be president of the United States,” said Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. “It’s mind-boggling to me that we have people that are actually trying to conduct a coup and take the votes away from the voters.”
Pennsylvania elector Paige Gebhardt Cognetti said she was especially proud to cast her vote for Biden because she worked at the U.S. Treasury Department when he was vice president and now is mayor of Scranton, his boyhood home.
“It shouldn’t matter who your parents voted for, if you’re a kid growing up in Scranton, you should know that you can become president,” Cognetti said.
Most electors are meeting in their state capitals with restricted access and social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nevada conducted its meeting entirely by video conference, and Arizona didn’t publicly disclose the location of its gathering to keep it “low key.”
There were protests against Trump’s election outside the Electoral College meeting in some states in 2016, and there could be demonstrations this year. Trump supporters gathered to protest in Washington on Saturday, at times clashing with counter-protesters and police.
Police were to escort the state’s electors from a parking garage to the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, said elector Chris Cracchiolo, chairman of the Grand Traverse Democratic Party and vice chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party.
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Author: News Max Staff
Source: News Max: Biden Captures Electoral Votes From All States Trump Contested