Biden officially clinches electoral college win as California certifies

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Dec 05, 2020, 07.21 AM(IST)

Joe Biden Photograph:( AFP )

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California certified its presidential election Friday evening and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden.

Joe Biden now officially has more than the 270 Electoral College votes -- which he needs to claim the US presidency -- after California certified its election results.

California certified its presidential election Friday evening and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla's formal approval of Biden's win in the state brought his tally of pledged electors so far to 279.

The electors will meet in their states on December 14 to cast their votes, which Congress will tally in a joint session on January 6.

Though it's been apparent for weeks that Biden won the presidential election, his accrual of more than 270 electors is the first step toward the White House.

Outgoing president Donald Trump continues to make unsubstantiated allegations of massive voter fraud. But his chances keep on narrowing as courts in several several states have rejected legal challenges brought by his campaign and supporters.

Courts in Nevada and Minnesota handed him two more losses on Friday, dismissing lawsuits seeking to decertify Biden’s victories in those states.

Notably lawmakers can still object to accepting the electors' votes, it would be almost impossible for Biden to be blocked at that point.

According to AP, Trump and his allies have also raised the far-fetched notion that Republican state legislatures in those states could appoint a rival set of electors pledged to Trump. But state Republican leaders have rejected that approach, and it would likely be futile in any case. 

According to federal law, both chambers of Congress would need to vote to accept a competing slate of electors. If they don't, the electors appointed by the states' governors -- all pledged to Biden in these cases -- must be used.

This tactic has been tried -- a handful of congressional Democrats in 2000, 2004 and 2016 objected to officially making both George W. Bush and Trump president. But the numbers were not enough to block the two men from taking office.

(with inputs)

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