WASHINGTON (CBS / AP) — Congress certified Donald Trump’s presidential victory Friday over the objections of a handful of House Democrats, with Vice President Joe Biden pronouncing, “It is over.” Rep. Barbara Lee from Oakland was among those who objected.
House Democrats objected to the votes from at least 10 states, raising issues of voter suppression as well as American intelligence showing that Russia tried to sway the election in favor of Trump. In each case, their objections were denied because they didn’t have the support of any senators.
“The use of malfunctioning voting machines, the restriction of provisional ballots, the improper purging of voter rolls, and the widely reported incidents of intimidation and misinformation at the polls are clear evidence of widespread voter suppression designed to restrict the vote among people of color, low-income voters, students and seniors,” Lee said in a statement on her Facebook page.
“History has shown us that democracy is fragile. It is our duty as members of Congress to protect the integrity of our electoral process from foreign actors seeking to influence the results,” Lee went on to say.
All 538 electors met in their respective state capitals in December to cast their votes. Friday’s vote count made it official. Biden presided over the count in his role as president of the Senate.
Trump finished with 304 electoral votes and Democrat Hillary Clinton got 227. There were seven protest votes for other candidates. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency.
As expected, Mike Pence was elected vice president.
Trump and Pence are to be sworn in on Jan. 20.
As the votes were announced for state after state, Democratic members of the House stood up to object. But in each case, no Democratic senator would join them, and Biden cut them off.
“There can be no debate,” Biden said repeatedly.
Under federal law, if at least one senator and one House member object to the vote from any state, the House and Senate will meet separately to debate the merits of the objection.
Toward the end of the count, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., pleaded for a senator to join her in objecting.
“Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection?” Waters said to boos from Republicans. None did.
Several protesters were ejected from the public gallery as the vote count concluded.
Trump won even though Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes. His election has generated much angst among Democrats and others who oppose the billionaire businessman. But they have been powerless to change the outcome.
Despite rumblings of a revolt, only two Republican electors — both from Texas — cast protest votes for someone other than Trump. Clinton lost four Democratic electors in Washington state and one in Hawaii.
On Friday morning, Trump went on Twitter to provide another assessment of the election.
“Hillary and the Dems were never going to beat the PASSION of my voters. They saw what was happening in the last two weeks before the (election) and knew they were in big trouble — which is why they cancelled their big fireworks at the last minute. THEY SAW A MOVEMENT LIKE NEVER BEFORE,” Trump wrote.
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