America’s Electoral College to confirm Joe Biden’s victory and deliver final set-back to Donald Trump

Donald Trump's election challenge has been rejected by the courts, now it is time for the official declarations by the Electoral Colleges. Credit: AP

Later on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden will take another significant step towards the White House, as Donald Trump's election challenge is rejected.

This time the repudiation won't be by the courts, but by the Electoral College itself.

In every state capitol, from Juneau in Alaska, to Tallahassee in Florida, delegates to the Electoral College will cast their ballots for the presidential candidate who won their state.

All 50 states have already certified their votes - but this will make it official.

So in Pennsylvania, for example, the 20 Electors there will gather in their state capital, Harrisburg, and vote for Joe Biden, since he won that state in the election last month.

Across the nation, if all goes according to plan, and there are no rogue votes, then Biden will win 306 votes, and Trump will gain 232.  

That would precisely reflect the outcome of the presidential election.

Yet this archaic system of indirect voting - America's fiendishly complicated Electoral College system - could still throw up some surprises.

That's because Donald Trump has worked ceaselessly since November 3 to undermine confidence in the integrity of American democracy.

Just look at what he has put out on Twitter this weekend - a video that contains baseless conspiracy theories and discredited claims.

There is concern of violence from Trump supporters and far-right activists.

Some delegates will be given armed escorts and in Michigan there are reports of multiple threats to disrupt the process.

If that seems an over-reaction, then listen to these incendiary comments over the weekend by the far-right conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones.  

It was so wild and dangerous that multiple people have called for the Secret Service to launch an investigation.

Perhaps a few votes will go astray as one or two Electors go rogue (this happened in 2016).

There is much technical debate about whether delegates can become "faithless" - in other words, ignore the mandate of their state's voters and cast their ballot in favour of the other candidate.

But it won't change the result.  

Joe Biden will today be crowned the winner of the Electoral College.

Indeed, he is so confident that he is planning a prime time speech to the nation on Monday night to mark this moment.

But Trump is unlikely to accept defeat even now.  

And certainly his supporters won’t acknowledge a final loss.  

As we saw this weekend, their anger and frustration are palpable.  

And one poll suggests that 70% of Republicans - that’s 50 million voters - believe the election was rigged. 


Robert Moore reported on Saturday on the Trump loyalists' rally as the president runs out of legal options

So Monday is significant in a technical and constitutional sense.

But there is only one moment when the election result becomes truly irreversible: Noon on January 20.

That's when Joe Biden will be sworn in as America's 46th President by the Chief Justice.

Then he will head to the White House with all the powers of the commander-in-chief.

Then - and only then - will the 2020 election truly be over.


Trump's late legal push and the day Biden almost died: Listen to ITV News's US election podcast