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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Biden officially received the majority of Electoral College votes on Monday, further solidifying his victory even though the outcome of the election has been known for weeks.

Why it matters: The Electoral College result affirms Biden as the next president after weeks of President Trump's false accusations that the election was stolen from him, dozens of failed legal challenges from the Trump campaign, and protests threatening the safety of states' electors.

  • Biden officially reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency just before 5:30 p.m. ET Monday, when California's 55 electors cast their ballots.
  • After the process concluded, Biden had 306 votes to Trump's 232.
  • The votes will still need to be certified by a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 overseen by Vice President Mike Pence, where he will announce the winner.
  • Trump said in November he would leave office if the Electoral College voted for Biden, but that it would have "made a mistake" because "this election was a fraud."

What he's saying: "In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed," Biden said in a televised remarks Monday evening.

  • "The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing — not even a pandemic —or an abuse of power — can extinguish that flame," he added.
  • "As I said through this campaign, I will be a president for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me, as I will for those who did."

The big picture: Trump's legal team and allies have repeatedly attempted to change the Electoral College's outcome. The Supreme Court last week rejected a long-shot lawsuit backed by Trump and over 120 House Republicans seeking to challenge the outcomes in key swing states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

  • Georgia's 16 electoral votes Monday went for Biden, with a roll call overseen by Stacey Abrams.
  • Michigan's 16 remained with Biden after the state's House GOP speaker said "we'd lose our country forever" if they swapped out electors.
  • Arizona's 11 for Biden were cast at an undisclosed location due to escalating threats to the safety of the electors.
  • Wisconsin's 10 were cast for Biden after the state Supreme Court ruled against the Trump effort last night for the third time this month.
  • Nevada's 6 went for Biden, with votes cast over Zoom.

The last shot Trump has at trying to sway the election results would be for members of both chambers of Congress to challenge the certification of the Electoral College votes.

  • Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is plotting to contest the results from the House and has a small group of allies. But the effort still has no public support in the Senate.

Editor's note: This story was updated after all states finished voting.

Go deeper

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.