Democrat Joe Biden called on Americans to “turn the page” on the Trump era in a speech on Monday night (US time), hours after the Electoral College affirmed that he has won the US presidency against Donald Trump. Joe Biden will serve as the 46th president of the United States

Electors for all 50 states and the District of Columbia gathered in their respective capitols on Monday to cast ballots. The vote, which is constitutionally mandated but typically just a form of formality, has become more important than ever in the US elections as Trump continues to claim that the November votes were marred by widespread fraud and deceit.

With California’s 55 electoral votes, Biden crossed the 270-vote threshold needed to win the White House, a milestone that moves him one step closer to his inauguration on January 20.

Joe Biden - Electoral College
Pennsylvania elector Clifford Levine shows his ballot. (Reuters)

Trump and his allies had made tremendous efforts to subvert popular will of the voters by hosting rallies in different states over the past weeks. Trump’s camp organized large gatherings – with people not wearing masks – at a time when it’s prohibited as coronavirus cases surge.

But Trump’s efforts have been proven unsuccessful as all the states he tried to persuade – Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin – cast their electoral votes for Biden.

“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said, according to excerpts released by his transition team. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And so, now it is time to turn the page. To unite. To heal.”

“Together, vice-president-elect Harris and I earned 306 electoral votes,” Biden said, speaking from Wilmington, Delaware, noting that he has won by the same margin as Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump said late November that he would leave the White House if the electoral college voted for Biden, but he has since pressed on with his campaigns and claims, filing numerous lawsuits challenging state vote counts.

On Monday, he repeated a series of unsupported claims.

The Electoral College votes will next be sent to the Congress to be counted formally next month. Under federal law, any member of the Congress may object to a particular state’s electoral count. Each chamber of the Congress must then debate on whether to sustain the result or not. However, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is sure to reject any such challenge.

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