DEMOCRAT Joe Biden is the next president of the United States after the Electoral College formalized his victory over President Donald Trump this week.
Voting 306 to 232, the members of the Electoral College met on Monday, December 14, to cast their ballots. The votes will be sent to Congress to be counted formally during a joint session on January 6.
Biden and his running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will be inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.
“Our democracy — pushed, tested and threatened — proved to be resilient, true, and strong,” Biden declared in a speech after the Electoral College formally confirmed his victory.
He also condemned Trump’s accusations of a widespread voter fraud in the election, as well as his attempts to overturn the results.
Trump, despite his clear loss during the November 3 election, continued to claim he was the real winner. His allies and supporters, meanwhile, filed lawsuits in several key states.
“This legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials and one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than 20 million Americans in other states and to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse,” Biden pointed out.
“It’s a position so extreme we’ve never seen it before. A position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our constitution,” he added.
The U.S. Supreme Court, for its part, rejected the Republican appeal on Friday.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulated Biden for the first time after the Electoral College “has spoken.”
“Many of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result,” McConnell said in a statement. “But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken.”
He also congratulated Harris, saying “all Americans can take pride that our nation has a female vice president-elect for the very first time.”
Biden further declared that “it’s time to turn the page.”
“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” he said.
He added, “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.”
Biden also brought focus to the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, recognizing there is “urgent work” ahead.
“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 it ever was,” the President-elect added.