Joe Biden formally elected U.S. president by electoral college Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 5, 2021

Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Kamala D. Harris were officially elected President and Vice President of the United States on Monday by the electoral college.

Biden and Harris received 306 electoral votes, far above the 270 threshold, to beat Trump and Mike Pence who garnered 232 electoral votes. There was no faithless elector who switched any vote.

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Although American voters cast their ballots on November 3, 2020, the votes that officially made Biden President-elect and Harris Vice President-elect were cast on Monday when the electoral college met across the 50 states in the country.

Americans do not directly elect their president. They vote for candidates and each state appoints electors who then elect the President. The number of electors for each state is dependent on the size of the state. California for instance has 55 electors while Delaware has 3 electors.

On Monday, the six key states in which President Trump tried to overturn the results of the presidential election all cast their electoral votes for Biden and Harris.

The states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Arizona all cast their electoral votes for Biden and Harris, dealing a blow to Trump who tried to subvert the will of the people in those states.

On Monday night, the President-elect will address the nation to celebrate the “strength and resilience of our democracy” and also discuss the pains from the coronavirus, as well as the hope of a vaccine, his office said in a statement.

“If anyone didn’t know it before, we know it now. What beats deep in the hearts of the American people is this: Democracy,” Biden is expected to say, according to excerpts of his remarks received in advance by Today News Africa in Washington D.C.

“The right to be heard. To have your vote counted. To choose the leaders of this nation. To govern ourselves. In America, politicians don’t take power — the people grant it to them.

“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing — not even a pandemic —or an abuse of power — can extinguish that flame,” Biden will say.

Biden will also say that “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.”

“As I said through this campaign, I will be a president for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me, as I will for those who did,” Biden will say.

The President-elect will also focus on the coronavirus pandemic, and call for immediate economic help for Americans in need.

His remarks come on a day the U.S. reached the grim milestone of 300,000 deaths from the virus, but also the administration of the first vaccine shots.

“There is urgent work in front of all of us. Getting the pandemic under control to getting the nation vaccinated against this virus. Delivering immediate economic help so badly needed by so many Americans who are hurting today —  and then building our economy back better than ever,” the President-elect will say.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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