US election: Biden becomes first-ever presidential candidate to receive 80 million votes

Alex Woodward
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Biden has received more than 80 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, the first-ever candidate to do so, as the president-elect prepares to announce his administration in the weeks leading up to his inauguration on 20 January.

The vote-tracking count from the Cook Political Report reported the Democrat has so far received roughly 51 per cent of the national popular vote to Donald Trump’s 47.1 per cent, or more than 73.8 million votes.

More than 156 million people voted in the 2020 election, a turnout of more than 66 per cent, shattering a century-old record for the share of eligible voters who cast ballots.

The latest vote totals arriving from New York’s Erie County pushed Mr Biden over 80 million, according to Cook editor Dave Wasserman.

Mr Biden is scheduled to formally announce members of his incoming national security team on Tuesday, a day after the federal agency responsible for his transition to the White House announced that it will begin after Democrats and watchdog groups criticised its chief for “stonewalling” at the president’s behest.

In a letter to Mr Biden, the General Services Administration’s Emily Murphy said“I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision.”

Later, Mr Trump said that “in the best interest” of the US, he recommended that Ms Murphy “and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same”.

The president’s legal team has mounted several lawsuits to overturn the results of the election in several states, though most have been dismissed, as his attorneys make public accusations of voter fraud and other conspiracies without providing meaningful evidence in courts.

In a statement on Monday night, Mr Biden’s transition director Yohannes Abraham said the GSA move “is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track”.

“This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies,” he continued. “In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”

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