WASHINGTON – The electoral college will vote on Monday to cement President-elect Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in this year's presidential election.
Ballots are cast throughout the day by individual voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and reflect their state's referendum.
As of 12 p.m. ET, Indiana, Tennessee, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina and Oklahoma had all cast their electoral votes for Trump, raising the president's total to 56.
Vermont, Illinois, Nevada, Delaware and New Hampshire had all cast their votes for Biden, a total of 36 votes at noon. Biden is expected to get a total of 306 votes while Trump is expected to win 232 votes.
Voters in several major swing states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona, will meet at noon. ET to record their electoral votes, which are all expected to go to Biden. However, the former vice president is not expected to officially bring in the 270-vote majority required for victory until later on the day California gets its 55 electoral votes.
Voting in the electoral college is usually a formality that takes place more than a month after the vote is cast on election day. But Trump's unprecedented legal and legislative efforts to reverse election results this year have made the process more important.
The president, his campaigning and political allies have filed dozens of lawsuits since election day, urging federal and state courts to invalidate the election results on countless unsubstantiated allegations of irregularities.
These efforts failed repeatedly, prompting the president to change tactics in early December and personally pressure the Republican legislature to intervene in the selection of individual voters. This has also failed so far.
Still, Trump continues to falsely claim that he was not Biden, the legitimate winner of the November election, and that he was the victim of a massive, coordinated statewide conspiracy to change the votes in Biden's favor.
Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans, fearful of angering their Trump-loving voters, have largely lagged behind the president and have refused to recognize Biden's victory.
Once voters have officially registered their votes for the President and Vice-President, the next big event in the electoral college process will be a joint congressional session on January 6th when both houses will officially count the votes.
Vice President Mike Pence is expected to lead the January 6th trial in his formal role as President of the Senate. These tasks also include announcing the results.
All congressional objection to voting must be submitted in writing and signed by at least one member of the House and one senator. If an objection is raised, the two chambers will consider the objection separately.
Alabama Republican MP Mo Brooks has already announced that he will be questioning the results of the House Electoral College census. In the Senate, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson has not ruled out filing a similar objection.
But not all Republicans endorse Brooks' plan to increase the number of elections to challenge the results that are sure to fail. And several Republican senators, who have yet to publicly acknowledge Biden's victory, have announced that they will accept the results of Monday's vote in the electoral college as the final verdict on the 2020 presidential election.
Still, some Republicans' rejection of Biden's victory in Congress is likely to extend into January and beyond.
In a December 6 poll by the Washington Post of all 249 Republicans in Congress, only 27 said they would accept Biden as the legally elected president. Another 220 GOP lawmakers gave an unclear answer or didn't respond, and two, Brooks and Rep. Paul A. Gosar of Arizona, said they believed Trump was the rightful election winner.
Since election day, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have tried largely to defy Trump's increasingly desperate campaign to reverse the results.
While a small team of Biden campaign lawyers oversees Trump's lawsuits, the former vice president goes through a formal transition process, announcing his candidates for his new cabinet and putting forward a plan to aggressively fight the coronavirus pandemic during his first 100 days in office .
Biden and Harris are sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States on January 20, the day of their inauguration.
This is a developing story. Please check again for updates.