(Compiled) President-elect Joe Biden was certified Tuesday, November 24, 2020 as the winner of the election in Pennsylvania, paving the way to a solid electoral college victory over President Trump.
After three weeks of vote counting and several ill-fated legal challenges, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Biden won the count by a fairly comfortable margin of about 80,000 votes.
“As required by federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Wolf wrote.
Democrat Joe Biden is officially the first presidential candidate to receive more than 80 million votes in a U.S. election.
The 2020 election was historic in more ways than one, occurring eight months into a deadly pandemic that came to define the race, with millions of people voting early and with mail-in and absentee ballots.
According to Cook Political Report‘s popular-vote tracker, Biden had 80,033,996 votes as of Tuesday afternoon, with vote-counting still continuing in some states.
Nevada was also poised to certify a win for Biden as the state’s supreme court approved the results, clearing the way for the appointment by the governor of six electors for the Democrat.
Pennsylvania’s 20 electors, a mix of elected Democrats, party activists and other staunch Biden backers, will meet in the state Capitol on Dec. 14 to deliver their votes for Biden.
The certified results show Biden and Harris with 3.46 million votes, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence with 3.38 million, and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen with 79,000.
Trump led by several hundred thousand votes in the first tallies from Pennsylvania, which only included votes cast in person on Election Day.
Biden closed the gap as cities and counties started counting votes cast by mail, which dramatically favored Democrats because Trump had urged his supporters to only vote in person.
Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, in a news release, called the state’s election officials and poll workers “the true heroes of our democracy.”
“We are tremendously grateful to all 67 counties who have been working extremely long hours to ensure that every qualified voter’s vote is counted safely and securely,” Boockvar said.
Trump made Pennsylvania a centerpiece of his unsuccessful legal attempts to invalidate the election results, launching legal attacks on vote-counting rules and county election procedures.
A federal judge on Saturday dealt a serious blow to the Trump campaign’s legal efforts by dismissing a lawsuit that he said lacked evidence and offered “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.”
Also, on Monday, the General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. federal agency that must sign off on the presidential transition, told Biden that he can formally begin the transition process. “I’m pleased to have received the ascertainment from GSA to carry out a smooth and peaceful transition of power so our teams can prepare to meet the challenges at hand: to control the pandemic, to build back better, and to protect the safety and security of the American people,” Biden said Tuesday while introducing his national security and foreign policy team.