Biden officially secures enough electors to become president

Biden officially secures enough electors to become president
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US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy and the final US jobs report of 2020 at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, on December 4, 2020. (REUTERS/Leah Millis)
Biden officially secures enough electors to become president
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As states continue to certify results of the 2020 presidential election ahead of a Dec. 14 meeting of electors, California's 55 electoral votes put Democrat Joe Biden past the 270 needed to win the race. (AP Graphic)
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Updated 05 December 2020

Biden officially secures enough electors to become president

Biden officially secures enough electors to become president
  • Electors from each state will meet on Dec. 14 to formally vote for the next president
  • The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate would both vote separately to resolve any disputes

LOS ANGELES: California certified its presidential election Friday and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, officially handing him the Electoral College majority needed to win the White House.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s formal approval of Biden’s win in the state brought his tally of pledged electors so far to 279, according to a tally by The Associated Press. That’s just over the 270 threshold for victory.
These steps in the election are often ignored formalities. But the hidden mechanics of electing a US president have drawn new scrutiny this year as President Donald Trump continues to deny Biden’s victory and pursues increasingly specious legal strategies aimed at overturning the results before they are finalized.
Although it’s been apparent for weeks that Biden won the presidential election, his accrual of more than 270 electors is the first step toward the White House, said Edward B. Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University.
“It is a legal milestone and the first milestone that has that status,” Foley said. “Everything prior to that was premised on what we call projections.”
The electors named Friday will meet Dec. 14, along with counterparts in each state, to formally vote for the next president. Most states have laws binding their electors to the winner of the popular vote in their state, measures that were upheld by a Supreme Court decision this year. There have been no suggestions that any of Biden’s pledged electors would contemplate not voting for him.
Results of the Electoral College vote are due to be received, and typically approved, by Congress on Jan. 6. Although lawmakers can object to accepting the electors’ votes, it would be almost impossible for Biden to be blocked at that point.
The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate would both vote separately to resolve any disputes. One already has arisen from Pennsylvania, where 75 Republican lawmakers signed a statement on Friday urging Congress to block the state’s electoral votes from being cast for Biden. But the state’s Republican US senator, Pat Toomey, said soon afterward that he would not be objecting to Pennsylvania’s slate of electors, underscoring the difficulty in trying to change the election results through Congress.




As states continue to certify results of the 2020 presidential election ahead of a Dec. 14 meeting of electors, California's 55 electoral votes put Democrat Joe Biden past the 270 needed to win the race. (AP Graphic)

“As a practical matter, we know that Joe Biden is going to be inaugurated on Jan. 20,” Foley said.
That was clear in the days after the election, when the count of mail ballots gradually made clear that Biden had won victories in enough states to win the Electoral College. It became even more apparent in late November, when every swing state won by Biden certified him as the winner of its elections and appointed his electors to the Electoral College. Trump has fruitlessly tried to stop those states from certifying Biden as the winner and appointing electors for the former vice president.
He made no effort in deeply Democratic California, the most populous state in the nation and the trove of its largest number of electoral votes. Three more states won by Biden — Colorado, Hawaii and New Jersey — have not yet certified their results. When they do, Biden will have 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232.
Trump and his allies have brought at least 50 legal cases trying to overturn the results in the swing states Biden won — mainly Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. More than 30 have been rejected or dropped, according to an AP tally.
Trump and his allies have also raised the far-fetched notion that Republican state legislatures in those states could appoint a rival set of electors pledged to Trump.
But state Republican leaders have rejected that approach, and it would likely be futile in any case. According to federal law, both chambers of Congress would need to vote to accept a competing slate of electors. If they don’t, the electors appointed by the states’ governors — all pledged to Biden in these cases — must be used.
The last remaining move to block the election would be the quixotic effort to vote down the electors in Congress.
This tactic has been tried — a handful of congressional Democrats in 2000, 2004 and 2016 objected to officially making both George W. Bush and Trump president. But the numbers were not enough to block the two men from taking office.


5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis
Updated 15 min 18 sec ago

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis

5 shot dead in 'targeted attack' in US city of Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS: Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death early Sunday inside an Indianapolis home in an apparent targeted attack, the city’s police chief said, decrying the “mass murder” killings as a “different kind of evil.”
The fatal shootings were discovered by police who had been called about 4 a.m. to investigate reports of a person shot on the city’s near northeast side but first discovered a juvenile male with gunshot wounds, said Sgt. Shane Foley with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
No suspects were in custody as of Sunday evening.
As officers were investigating that juvenile’s shooting, Foley said police received information about 4:40 a.m., that led them to a nearby home, where they found five adults dead inside from apparent gunshot wounds.
One of the five victims was a pregnant woman who was taken to an area hospital, where both she and the unborn child died despite life-saving efforts, Foley said.
He said the juvenile initially found with gunshot wounds is expected to survive and police believe he was wounded in the shootings that left the five others dead, along with the unborn child.
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said police believe the deadly shootings were not random, but were a targeted attack carried out by an assailant or assailants.
He said the shooting came days after police department officials had announced their latest efforts to combat violent, drug-related crimes and “violence driven by poverty or desperation.”
“But what we saw this morning was a different kind of evil. What happened this morning, based on the evidence that’s been gathered so far, was mass murder,” Taylor said at a news conference. “More than that, we believe it was not random.”
Taylor said it was largest mass casualty shooting in the city in more than a decade, and urged the public to contact police and pass along any information they might have on the killings.
Mayor Joe Hogsett called the shootings “mass murder,” and said that an individual or individuals had brought “terror to our community.” He said he had contacted officials with the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, the local US Attorneys office and other law enforcement agencies for assistance in the shooting investigation.
“I want those responsible to know that the full might of local, state and federal law enforcement are coming for them as I speak,” he said.