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Electoral College to confirm Biden as president-elect
The 538 members of the US Electoral College will convene on Monday to cast their votes on behalf of the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) to choose the next president, formally confirming Joe Biden as president-elect.
Barring surprise defections, Mr Biden is expected to claim 306 votes to Donald Trumps 232 in accordance with last months election results, bringing the country closer to ending a nightmarish post-election period in which Trump has doggedly contested his landslide defeat through a series of frivolous lawsuits, which have so far comprehensively failed to substantiate his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
Todays results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a 6 January joint session of Congress over which vice president Mike Pence will preside, paving the way for Bidens inauguration two weeks later.
In 32 states and DC, laws require electors to vote for the popular-vote winner. The US Supreme Court unanimously upheld this arrangement in July. Electors almost always vote for the state winner anyway because they generally are devoted to their political party. While there are sometimes a handful of “rogue” electors who vote for someone other than the winner of their state’s popular vote, the vast majority just rubber-stamp their state’s results. 
Officials do not expect anything different on Monday.
In capitols such as Lansing, Michigan; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Atlanta, Georgia, electors – typically party loyalists – will gather to formally cast those votes. The process is decidedly low tech – by paper ballot. Electors cast one vote each for president and vice president.
Prominent electors readers may recognise from Mondays proceedings include Democrat Stacey Abrams of Georgia and the Republican governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem.
The Electoral College was the product of compromise during the drafting of the US Constitution between those who favoured electing the president by popular vote and those who opposed giving the people the power to choose their leader.
Each state gets a number of electors equal to their total number of seats in Congress: two senators plus however many members the state has in the House of Representatives. Washington, DC, has three votes, under a constitutional amendment that was ratified in 1961. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, states award all their Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular vote in their state.
The bargain struck by the nation’s Founding Fathers has produced five elections in which the president did not win the popular vote. Trump was the most recent example in 2016, but Biden topped him by more than 7m votes in November.