Members of the constituency in all six battleground states where President Donald Trump most fiercely contested the results on Monday voted for Democrat Joe Biden, effectively disrupting the president’s path to overturn the election.
The vote marks the watershed moment that some Republican lawmakers have said would mark the end of their support for attempts to overturn the November 3 election.
Michigan’s 16 voters voted for Biden, following 63 votes cast for him in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Biden will have enough electoral votes to be officially declared president-elect when members vote 270, which is expected after the California votes. Congress will officially count the votes on January 6.
Voters in 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia vote for president and vice president in time-honored constitutional ceremonies that attracted new attention this year after Trump refused to concede and insisted without evidence that the election had been “rigged”.
Many Republicans refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory, pandering to Trump’s baseless claims about a stolen election and saying he had the right to pursue legal challenges and let the trial unfold. And now, with the voters voting, it has.
“The constituency obviously carries some purpose to this,” Senator John Thune of South Dakota, Republican No. 6, told reporters last week. 2 of the room. And South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, another Trump ally, said when asked if the president should admit, “I’ll talk to you on December 14.”
Trump said on Fox News Sunday that he will continue to fight the results, even after the US Supreme Court on Friday rejected a Texas offer to cancel election results in four of the six battlefield states – a case that the president had called. “The Great” which was supported by Republican Attorneys General in 18 states and 126 Republican members of Congress.
Republicans said Trump voters who were not certified met in Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to vote in case the ongoing litigation overturned the results. But any attempt to get Congress to consider a rival list of voters “will not 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 contested elections.
Later Monday, Biden will ask the country to reunite now that the trial is over.
“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And now we know that nothing – not even a pandemic or an abuse of power – can put out that flame, “Biden will say, according to prepared remarks his transition team announced it would deliver on Monday night.” And so, now is the time. to turn the page. To unite. To heal. “
The campaign by the president and his allies brought dozens of lawsuits seeking to invalidate Biden’s victories in the battlefield states, and nearly all of them were rejected for lack of evidence of fraud. The president lobbied Republicans in Congress and states to help overturn the elections and urged state lawmakers to name Trump’s rival voters.
Rick Bloomingdale, a voter from Biden in Pennsylvania, said before the meeting in the state capital of Harrisburg that he was confident his vote would be counted and that Trump’s efforts to overturn the elections would fail.
“At noon on January 20, Joe Biden will be the president of the United States,” said Bloomingdale, president of the AFL-CIO of Pennsylvania. “It is astonishing to me that we have people who are actually trying to lead a coup and take away the votes of the voters.”
Pennsylvania voter Paige Gebhardt Cognetti said she was particularly proud to vote for Biden because she worked in the US Treasury Department when she was vice president and is now mayor of Scranton, her childhood home.
“It shouldn’t matter who your parents voted for, if you’re a kid growing up in Scranton, you should know you can become president,” Cognetti said.
Most voters gather in their state capitals with limited access and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevada conducted its meeting entirely by videoconferencing and Arizona did not publicly disclose the location of its meeting to keep it “low”.
There have been protests against Trump’s election outside the Electoral College meeting in some states in 2016 and there may be demonstrations this year. Trump supporters gathered to protest in Washington on Saturday, sometimes clashing with counter-protesters and police.
Police were supposed to escort state voters from a parking lot on the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, said Elector Chris Cracchiolo, president of the Grand Traverse Democratic Party and vice president of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Previously: Republicans block inaugural resolution recognizing Biden’s victory
“At the time I volunteered to do it, I thought it was a little ceremonial,” Cracchiolo said before the meeting. “Since November 3, the breadth and importance of this role seems to be increasing every day.”
Michigan’s legislature was closed due to security concerns, and lawmakers deprived Republican state representative Gary Eisen on Monday after lawmakers said he would take part in a potentially violent protest that sought to overturn the Electoral College vote. of the state.
“I know this is not the outcome some people want,” Republican Michigan House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a statement in support of the Electoral College vote for Biden. “But we have a republic if we can keep it. And I’m going to do it. “
When US voters score votes in a presidential race, they are actually voting for the list of voters of a candidate who cast that state’s electoral votes – one vote for every US representative and senator. The candidate who obtains the majority of 538 electoral votes, or 270, wins the presidency.
Biden garnered 306 electoral votes from the 25 states and the District of Columbia he was carrying, and voters, who are generally selected by their political parties, are essentially busy voting for the winner of the popular vote in their state. Trump won 232 electoral votes from the 25 states he won.
The next step is for Congress to count each state’s electoral votes in a joint session on January 6 with Vice President Mike Pence presiding. There could be some drama if a member of the House and Senate opposes a state’s voter list. This would require each chamber to discuss and vote on the objection.
Republican Rep Mo Brooks of Alabama said he intends to make an objection, but so far no senators have emerged to join him. Seventy-five Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania also sent a December 4 letter to the state Congressional delegation urging them to oppose.
Any objection to a vote is likely to fail with Democrats controlling the House and a sufficient number of Republican senators recognizing Biden’s victory, said Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford University law professor and expert in electoral law.
But Monday’s voters’ meeting is the last step for anyone waiting for the process to wrap up, Persily said.
“Constitutionally it would be the end of the road,” he said.