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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

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.