Biden clears 270-vote mark as electors affirm his victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Electoral College gave Joe Biden a solid majority of its votes Monday, confirming his victory in last month’s election in state-by-state voting that took on added importance this year because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he lost.

California’s 55 electoral votes put Biden over the top, clearing the 270-vote mark that affirmed he will be the nation’s next president.

Heightened security was in place in some states as electors met on the day established by federal law.

Electors cast paper ballots in gatherings that took place in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with masks, social distancing and other virus precautions the order of the day.

The results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.

There was little suspense and no change as all the electoral votes allocated to Biden and Trump in last month’s popular vote went to each man.

When all the votes are in, Biden was expected to have 306 to 232 for Trump. Biden topped Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote nationwide.

“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” Biden said in remarks prepared for an evening speech. “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.”

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