President-elect Joe Biden has surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to claim the presidency, as California’s electors put him over the top on Monday afternoon.
With the state’s 55 votes added to the tally, Biden held 302 electoral votes. He and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are expected to finish with 306 votes once Hawaii’s four electors cast their ballots later on Monday. President Donald Trump received 232 votes, in keeping with the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
The meeting of the electors in 50 states is typically a formality. But the vote has taken on heightened importance as Trump has refused to acknowledge the election result and persisted with efforts to overturn it. Even with Monday’s vote, Trump shows no sign of conceding.
The electors met in state capitals around the country, with the proceedings viewable on livestreams. Much of the attention was focused on a handful of battleground states where Biden won narrowly, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada.
In Atlanta, Stacey Abrams — one of the electors on the Democratic slate — announced that Georgia’s 16 votes went to Biden and Harris.
“This is not a moment of partisanship,” Abrams said. “This is a moment of patriotism, because we came together to do something that has been done time and again … for over 200 years.”
Meanwhile in Austin, Texas, the state’s 38 electors voted for Trump and then passed a resolution protesting the outcome of the race. They also voted to strip out language accusing the Supreme Court of “moral cowardice” for declining to take up the state’s lawsuit seeking to annul the vote in four states.
In Albany, N.Y., Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited Bill and Hillary Clinton to cast their votes for the Biden-Harris ticket. Wearing masks, the former president and former secretary of state deposited ballots into the ballot box on the floor of the State Assembly.
In Harrisburg, Pa., the state’s 20 electors met in a large auditorium near the state Capitol, in order to reduce the risk of COVID transmission. The Nevada electors met via Zoom.
Biden is expected to speak to the country from Wilmington, Del., later this evening. His transition team released two excerpts from the speech.
“In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them,” Biden will say. “The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing — not even a pandemic or an abuse of power — can extinguish that flame.”
The votes will be formally counted in a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6.