The Electoral College has voted Joe Biden as the President and Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as the Vice President of the United States, bringing to an end the legal battle unleashed by incumbent Donald Trump who has been alleging widespread voter fraud in the presidential elections.
In a speech after the announcement, Biden said US democracy had been “pushed, tested and threatened” and “proved to be resilient, true and strong”. He condemned President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the result. Confirmation by the electoral college was one of the steps required for Mr Biden to take office. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are due to be sworn in at noon on January 20, 2021. Under the US system, voters actually cast their ballots for “electors”, who in turn formally vote for candidates after the election. Democrat Joe Biden won November’s contest with 306 electoral college votes to Republican Donald Trump’s 232.
The development brings to an end the legal battle unleashed by President Donald Trump against the elections, which he lost both in terms of the popular vote as well as the majority in the 538-member electoral college. Typically, the meeting of the Electoral College is merely a formality. However, it received international attention because of unsubstantiated allegations of massive voter fraud by Trump. President Trump, who shows few signs of conceding, has not commented. Shortly after the electoral college’s vote, he announced on Twitter the departure of Attorney General William Barr, who had said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the election, despite the president’s claims.