Electoral college makes Joe Biden the next US president, formalising his victory over Donald Trump

Joe Biden has been voted in as the next US presidential by the electoral college, formalising his victory over Donald Trump despite the latter’s baseless claims of mass voter fraud. 

Monday saw each of the so-called electors, 538 nominated individuals who under the idiosyncrasies of the US electoral system are the ones who select the president, gather in their states to vote.

They are by either law or precedent bound to select the candidate who received most votes in their state. It is part of the electoral college system laid out in the US Constitution.

While the voting was largely  procedural and ceremonial it was also historic, the moment the electoral college formally picked Mr Biden, the Democratic candidate, as the next president.

Mr Biden tipped over the 270 electoral vote mark which guaranteed his victory around 5.30pm Washington DC time on Monday, when California’s electors made their choice, making official his election win. 

Within minutes of that moment Mr Trump announced via Twitter that his US attorney general William Barr would be leaving his administration before Christmas. Mr Barr had denied there was widespread voter fraud.  

Mr Biden was due to give a speech on Monday night marking the moment. Pre-released exerts showed Mr Biden would say: “In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed.

“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.”

Moments after Mr Biden was picked by the electoral college as the next president, Donald Trump announced the departure of William Barr, his US attorney general who had denied Mr Trump’s claims of widespread fraud. 

The US Congress will then meet on January 6 to count the electoral votes and declare the winner, with Mr Biden due to take over the presidency at the inauguration on January 20.

 

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