Some electors obtained police escorts. Some solid their votes in an undisclosed location. Some drew a nationwide viewers for what’s often a procedural and obscure constitutional endeavor. Most wore masks and adhered to social distancing guidelines in deference to the coronavirus pandemic that has outlined this lengthy marketing campaign.
And in the long run, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory within the 2020 presidential race was affirmed on Monday, as he topped the 270 Electoral College votes he wanted to maneuver into the White House subsequent month, regardless of President Trump’s relentless promotion of conspiracy theories and assaults on the integrity of the outcomes.
All of the electors in the important thing battlegrounds, whose outcomes Mr. Trump has contested, delivered their assist to Mr. Biden.
Here are 4 takeaways on the longer-term results of Mr. Trump’s refusal to simply accept the end result, Mr. Biden’s victory and the way forward for the democratic course of within the United States.
Biden wins. Again.
Joe Biden has been elected the forty sixth president of the United States.
That could not sound like information to these of you who’ve adopted the occasions of the previous 5 weeks, contemplating the truth that Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump by greater than seven million votes. But the election isn’t absolutely over till the Electoral College weighs in, and that befell on Monday. It fell, appropriately sufficient, to California — a state on the middle of the opposition to the president — to place the Democrat excessive.
The final result itself was unsurprising. But some Republicans who’ve refused to acknowledge the election final result started to acknowledge out loud what has been apparent for over a month. “At some point, you have to face the music,” mentioned Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Republican, arguing that it was “time for everyone to move on.”
Senator Mitch McConnell, the bulk chief, who had argued that the race had merely been known as by the information media, and never but by the Electoral College, made no rapid remarks.
Mr. Biden delivered a forceful speech denouncing the Trump-led efforts to overturn the outcome and the desire of the voters, calling it an “unprecedented assault on our democracy.”
“Now it is time to turn the page,” Mr. Biden mentioned.
But it was not clear whether or not there can be any full and rapid turning of the web page.
Democracy prevailed, however at an important worth.
Yes, a majority of the electors known as their ballots for Mr. Biden.
But Monday started with a prime White House adviser, Stephen Miller, (*4*) that there had been a “fraudulent election result” and saying that “an alternate slate of electors” in contested states would vote and would ship their outcomes to Congress from states the president misplaced.
Mr. Miller isn’t alone; a lot of the Republican Party nonetheless refuses to completely and publicly acknowledge the election outcomes, at the same time as they’ve been licensed by all 50 states, the Electoral College electors have voted and the Supreme Court has declined to listen to a authorized problem that Mr. Trump had teased as “perhaps the most important case in history.”
Democracy is fragile, and constructed upon public belief. And whereas the end result of this 12 months’s race has been affirmed, the acid messaging of Mr. Trump and his allies threatens to weaken the pillars of the establishments that run America’s elections.
“The greatest danger to America is the naïve belief that there is something unique that guarantees America will remain a democratic civil society,” Stuart Stevens, a longtime Republican strategist turned vocal Trump critic, mentioned on Twitter. “Much of a major party has turned against democracy. It’s foolish to believe that doesn’t have consequences.”
There are some dissenters. Representative Paul Mitchell of Michigan, who’s retiring and served in House Republican management, mentioned on Monday that regardless of voting for Mr. Trump final month, he was quitting the social gathering for the rest of his time period, turned off by the efforts to overturn the election.
“I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the ‘stop the steal’ efforts, which is extremely disappointing to me,” he wrote in an open letter to party leaders.
The system survived the messy 2000 recount and two presidents elected within the twenty first century regardless of them dropping the favored vote. There had been some “faithless,” if in the end meaningless, electors in 2016. The nice unknown is the cumulative impression of these previous bouts and this 12 months’s additional erosion of democratic norms on the subsequent inevitably shut and contested election.
Who knew? These are what Electoral College conferences appear like.
“I hope you can see me smiling behind the mask.”
Those phrases from Nancy Mills, the chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, got here on the finish of the balloting in Pennsylvania on Monday, after the state awarded its 20 Electoral College votes to Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump there by about 81,000 votes.
Ms. Mills was serving in her official capability as president of the Pennsylvania Electoral College delegation. In nearly another presidential election, her function in historical past can be ceremonial and largely unnoticed.
Not this 12 months. One of the various uncommon issues about this election was that Americans had been capable of see — and wished to see — what’s often a postscript to Election Day. Starting on Monday morning, delegations of electors started gathering in states throughout the nation, the proceedings carried by stay video streams and even on tv.
Because of the pandemic, Electoral College members noticed social-distancing guidelines and wore masks. But the nation may see the solemnity and ceremony that accompany the method even in years when nobody is watching. The appointment of the officers for the day. The distribution of the key ballots. The look forward to the official depend.
The vote in Pennsylvania was freed from any disruption. But Ms. Mills did allude to the drama that hung over the day as she introduced the proceedings to an in depth.
“We are the state that put Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris over the 270 Electoral College threshold,” she mentioned. “We are the state that returned the dignity and honor to the United States of America.”
Some Republicans are (nonetheless) resisting actuality.
Inside the Georgia Capitol, Democratic electors gathered on the ground of the State Senate to solid their votes for Mr. Biden as president and Ms. Harris as vp, the primary time the state had voted Democratic in 28 years.
“Today, we will fulfill our constitutional duty,” Nikema Williams, the chair of the Georgia Democratic Party and a congresswoman-elect, declared as she known as the assembly to order.
Elsewhere within the Capitol, a gaggle of Republicans gathered for one thing of a shadow ceremony, anointing their very own slate of pro-Trump electors. The group’s vote had no precise bearing on the Electoral College tally. David Shafer, the Georgia Republican Party chairman, defined the vote of the nonelectors as a bid to maintain Mr. Trump’s authorized choices open.
“Had we not meet today and cast our votes, the President’s pending election contest would have been effectively mooted,” he wrote on Twitter.
An analogous effort was underway elsewhere, together with in Pennsylvania, the place the state Republican Party introduced a gathering of “electors” for Mr. Trump in Harrisburg. The second-slate efforts comply with a precedent from the 1960 presidential election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, when some Democrats in Hawaii solid conditional electoral votes for Mr. Kennedy whereas counting and authorized challenges continued.
In 2020, the Republican objective posts for when the election might be absolutely determined hold shifting.
The newest circled date is Jan. 6, when Congress has its remaining say on the election. Some Trump allies are organizing a flooring problem to Mr. Biden’s victory.