With increased security in some states, Democratic voters in the key battlefield states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania gave Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris their votes Monday in low-key procedures. Nevada voters rallied via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been concerns about voter safety, virtually unheard of in previous years. In Michigan, lawmakers from both parties reported receiving threats.
Legislative offices were closed Monday because of threats of violence. All 16 voters will gather in the Senate chamber in a ceremony led by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Biden won the state by 154,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points, over Trump.
Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, said the shutdowns were made on recommendations from law enforcement “based on credible threats of violence.”
Georgia State Police were present at the State Capitol in Atlanta before Democratic voters met with Biden. There were no protesters less than an hour before the meeting.
Even when the Electoral College formally confirmed Biden’s victory, some Republicans continued to refuse to acknowledge that reality. However, his opposition to Biden had no practical effect on the electoral process, and the Democrat will be sworn in on January 20.
Despite Biden’s victories in Georgia and Pennsylvania, Republicans who would have been Trump’s constituents rallied anyway. Pennsylvania Republicans said they cast a “procedural vote” in favor of Trump and Pence in the event that courts that have repeatedly rejected challenges to Biden’s victory in some way still find that Trump had won.
In North Carolina, Iowa, and other southern and midwestern states where Trump won, his constituents turned out to vote properly for him.
In New Hampshire, before all four state electors voted for Biden in the Concord House of Representatives, 13-year-old Brayden Harrington led the pack in the Pledge of Allegiance. He had delivered a moving speech at the Democratic National Convention in August about fighting stuttering that he shares with Biden.
Vermont voters were the first in the nation to vote Monday, electing Biden and Harris.
“No, I am concerned that the country has an illegitimate president, that’s what worries me. A president who lost and lost a lot,” Trump said in a Fox News interview recorded Saturday.
After weeks of Republican legal challenges that were easily dismissed by the justices, Trump and his Republican allies tried last week to persuade the Supreme Court to reserve 62 electoral votes for Biden in four states, which could have cast doubt on the outcome. .
In 32 states and the District of Columbia, laws require voters to vote for the winner of the popular vote. The Supreme Court unanimously confirmed this arrangement in July.
Still, voters almost always vote for the state winner because they are generally committed to their political parties. There is no reason to expect defections this year. Notable voters include Democrat Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Republican Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota.
Voting is decidedly low-tech, by ballot. Voters cast one vote for president and vice president.
The Electoral College was the product of a compromise during the drafting of the Constitution between those who favored the election of the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to directly elect their leader.
Each state gets a number of voters equal to its total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus the number of members the state has in the House of Representatives. Washington, DC, has three votes, under a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all of their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.
The deal struck by the nation’s founders has produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote. Trump was the most recent example in 2016.
Biden edged out Trump by more than seven million votes this year.
And then there is one more step: the inauguration.