In the United States of America, Electors are gathering in state capitols across the country to formally vote for Joe Biden as the next U.S. president, effectively ending President Donald Trump’s frenzied but failing attempt to overturn his loss in the Nov. 3 election.
The state-by-state votes, traditionally an afterthought, have taken on outsized significance this year because of Trump’s assault on the democratic process. Pushing false claims of widespread fraud, Trump has pressured state officials to throw the election results out and declare him the winner.
Election results show Biden, the Democratic former vice president, won 306 electoral votes – exceeding the 270 needed to win – after four years under the Republican Trump. Biden and running mate Kamala Harris are due to take office on Jan. 20.
There is almost no chance that Monday’s voting will negate Biden’s victory and, with his legal campaign to reverse the results floundering, Trump’s hopes of clinging to power will rest with a special meeting of the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6 where the odds against him are as good as insurmountable.
Under a complicated system dating back to the 1780s, a candidate becomes U.S. president not by winning a majority of the popular vote but through an Electoral College system, which allots electoral votes to the 50 states and the District of Columbia largely based on their population.
In capitols such as Lansing, Michigan; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Atlanta, Georgia, electors – typically party loyalists – will gather on Monday to formally cast those votes.
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