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Biden officially clinches Electoral College votes with California certification

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Science denialism in the new administration Jill Biden to offer input on helping reunite separated immigrant families: report MORE formally clinched the number of Electoral College votes he needs to take the White House next month after California certified its election Friday.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) certified that the state is assigning Biden its 55 electors after reviewing the election results, pushing his total to 279 — nine more than the 270 he needs to be elected president.

The result of the Golden State’s election was never in question given its dark blue hue, and vote certification is often a quadrennial formality that never raises eyebrows, but the milestone for Biden this year comes as President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE launches an array of legal challenges to overturn the election results in key swing states before they are finalized in an effort to subvert Biden’s win.

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Biden was projected weeks ago to be the winner of the presidential race, and the General Services Administration followed suit after a delay, but the collection of more than 270 Electoral College votes is the latest step in cementing his status as president-elect. 

The nation’s electors will meet in their states to cast their votes, which will be tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSenate Democrats reintroduce DC statehood bill Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized What the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform MORE have been in the midst of their transition for weeks now, but Trump and his allies in Congress and the media have continued to level claims without evidence that widespread voter fraud swung the election toward Biden. 

However, the president has faced an avalanche of legal setbacks as court after court in states such as Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin throw out GOP lawsuits, often for lack of evidence.