US Polls:Electoral college begins casting votes that will finalize Biden’s victory

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

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By Our Foreign Desk/BBC

Members of the US electoral college have begun casting their votes in a process that will see Joe Biden formally designated president-elect.

The Democrat won November’s contest with a projected 306 electoral college votes to Republican Donald Trump’s 232.

Under the US system, voters actually cast their ballots for “electors”, who in turn, formally vote for candidates weeks after the election.

Despite this process, President Trump is not expected to accept the result.

Normally the electors do not get that much attention but this year, due to Mr Trump’s persistent efforts to question and overturn the results – involving legal challenges which have been rejected by courts across the country – the state-by-state vote is in the spotlight.

Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana and Tennessee were among the first states where electors gathered in capitals (or in Washington DC) on Monday to formally cast their votes.

Heightened security was put in place in some states, including Michigan and Georgia. In Michigan legislative offices in the state capital Lansing were closed on Monday due to “credible” threats of violence ahead of the vote.

The vote at the capitol building went ahead peacefully, with all 16 electors casting their votes for Joe Biden, who won the important swing state. A group of Republicans tried to enter the building to hold their own vote but were turned away.

“The people have spoken. It was a safe, fair and secure election,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who had been the subject of a kidnapping plot thwarted by the FBI earlier this year. “After today, the results will be final.”

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