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Maryland’s electors cast their 10 Electoral College votes for Biden

State of Maryland Electoral College Vote for for President of the United States and Vice-President of the United States.

Maryland’s 10 electors voted Monday for President-elect Joe Biden, helping to formalize the Democrat’s victory.

Wearing masks, the electors met Monday in Annapolis at the State House, the country’s oldest continuously operating state capitol. Maryland is just one of six states that has participated in every Electoral College vote, starting in 1789, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said at the event.

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Hogan opened the meeting, which he called a “civics lesson,” seemingly addressing GOP President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede without naming him.

“The peaceful transition of power that we formally take part in here today is a hallmark of our democracy that has been handed down for more than 220 years,” Hogan said. “At times, it has been tested, sometimes even questioned. But it is a reminder that despite our differences, we are united as Americans who honor the will of the people through the greatest and most enduring democratic process the world has ever known.”

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But Monday evening, Hogan said in a statement that Trump and his legal team haven’t presented evidence to support his accusations of fraud and that “no American should have any reason to doubt that this election was fair and legitimate.”

The electors took an oath, then cast their votes for president and vice president via a voice vote, all for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Then, the votes were certified and sealed.

The votes will be delivered to the president of the U.S. Senate, Republican Vice President Mike Pence, who will lead their tabulation Jan. 6 at a joint session of Congress.

Yvette Lewis, chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, called the “free, fair and peaceful” transfer of power the most “sacred duty” of American democracy.

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“This was a truly historic election, not only because of who we elected, but for the margin with which we elected them,” Lewis said. “Our electors will be ushering in a new chapter for this country. Their vote today is the first step of many in healing age-old divisions, addressing the hardships ahead and building our country back better.”

“It is a repudiation of hate. A repudiation of divisiveness. It’s an affirmation of benevolence. An affirmation of unity,” said Gloria Lawlah, president of the electors and former state secretary of aging.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event was closed to the public. It was livestreamed so people could watch it remotely.

Electors nationwide met Monday in state capitals to cast their votes. Biden, who will take office in January, won 306 electoral votes, besting Trump’s 232.

Electors, typically party loyalists, nearly always vote for the state’s winner, so Maryland electors’ unanimous vote for Biden came as no surprise.

Trump has refused to concede, firing off a barrage of baseless accusations of voter fraud and mounting an unsuccessful legal campaign to overturn the results. On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a Trump-backed lawsuit to overturn Biden’s victory.

Hogan previously called on Trump to “stop golfing and concede.”

Some of Trump’s supporters have raised the prospect of challenging results from Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin during the joint congressional session in January. Any objections are unlikely to succeed. A House member’s objection would need the support of a senator, and the House and the Senate would have to agree to reject the votes of a state’s electors.

Thelma T. Daley, front, Sachidanand Hebbar, second from left, and other electors sign the Certificate of Vote during the 59th meeting of the Maryland Electoral College at the State House.
Thelma T. Daley, front, Sachidanand Hebbar, second from left, and other electors sign the Certificate of Vote during the 59th meeting of the Maryland Electoral College at the State House. (Amy Davis)

Individual votes in the presidential election aren’t a direct vote for the presidential ticket, but are essentially instead votes for electors, who in turn cast votes for president and vice president. Since the presidential race isn’t decided by nationwide popular vote, several presidents have won the presidency despite losing the total U.S. popular vote, including Trump in 2016 and Republican George W. Bush in 2000.

Party officials pick electors in Maryland. For Democrats this year, it was Lewis making the calls with recommendations from local Democratic central committees. The party has long picked an elector from every congressional district, along with two at-large electors.

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