Former Vice President Joseph Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States with at least 273 electoral votes, with more continuing to be counted in battleground states across the nation.
Biden secured 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania, building on his 253-214 lead in the Electoral College, after mail-in ballots favoring the Scranton native were counted on a rolling basis beginning Tuesday night, the New York Times reported.
As a major Democratic city, Philadelphia played a key role in securing votes for Biden as the count labored on through early Saturday morning. The Philadelphia City Commissioners updated Pennsylvania’s ballot count just before 9 a.m. Friday to include more than 30,000 mail-in ballots from Philadelphia, giving Biden a 0.1 percent lead in the state.
As of Saturday morning, Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif), his running mate, led Philadelphia with more than 80 percent of the city’s votes, The Temple News reported.
President Donald Trump falsely claimed Thursday the votes being counted in Pennsylvania and other key states were fraudulent, with a text sent to his Philadelphia supporters urging them to demonstrate in Center City and prevent Democrats’ efforts to “steal this election” from him, the Washington Post reported. Both candidates’ supporters gathered Thursday in front of the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Arch Street near 12th, where mail-in ballots are still being counted, clashing over their demands to continue and halt the vote counting process, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Throughout the race, Biden’s victory hinged on flipping key swing states Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election, including Pennsylvania. The first states to flip were Michigan and Wisconsin on Wednesday, giving Biden 26 electoral votes together, followed by Pennsylvania, worth 20 electoral votes, on Friday. Biden is also leading the vote in Arizona and Georgia, which Trump carried in 2016, but the states have yet to be called.
Biden secured at least 73.8 million votes nationwide, 50.5 percent of the national popular vote, while Trump received at least 69.7 million votes, or 47.7 percent, the New York Times reported.
Philadelphia’s ballot counting process was delayed for two hours midday Thursday after the state Commonwealth Court permitted Trump campaign observers to stand within six feet of election officials as they counted ballots. Although the lawsuit had relatively little impact on the outcome of the election, it slowed Philadelphia’s ballot counting process, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Trump’s campaign filed several other unsuccessful lawsuits against Pennsylvania and other key swing states demanding they stop counting votes over the past few days, The Temple News reported.
Members of the Electoral College will formally cast their ballots on Dec. 14, of which a majority will go to Biden based on today’s results, and both chambers of the U.S. Congress will convene on Jan. 6, 2021 to declare the official winner of the presidential election.