Presidential Electors Cast Ballots for Biden in Pa., NJ and Del.

Those who are casting votes for President-elect Joe Biden in the three states of the Philadelphia region met today to finalize the process. Here's how it was done and when it happened.

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Electors cast votes for President-elect Joe Biden in the three states that make up the Philadelphia region met today, starting with Delaware and followed by Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

All of the electoral college votes for those states -- 20 in Pennsylvania, 14 in New Jersey and 3 in Delaware -- went to Biden because he won the popular votes in each. Electors in all 50 states met today to finalize their part of the process.

Those 37 votes were cast by individual electors, nominated earlier in the year. The process in each state began long before the November presidential election when the Republican and Democratic parties each put forward a slate of party members to cast their votes, depending on whether Biden or President Donald Trump won.

Each state's electors cast their votes at different times in their respective state Capitols. The first to go was Delaware, where the three electors met at 11:30 a.m. in a gymnasium in Wilmington.

The next was Pennsylvania, where the 20 electors voted at 12 p.m. at the state Capitol building. Electors for New Jersey convened at 3 p.m. and cast their votes.

The process dates to the 18th century and has largely been a ceremonial act with little fanfare. But Trump's continuing efforts to subvert the results of the election, which Biden won overwhelmingly both in the Electoral College and in the national popular vote, has turned every procedural step into a much-anticipated event.

One person, one vote is the democratic ideal. So why is the American system of voting still based on the Electoral College? In this opinion piece from The New York Times, Jesse Wegman explains the myths that keep us clinging to this system of voting – and why it may be finally time to let them go.

Armed security guards were assigned to electors in some states where pro-Trump activists have taken the presidents' tweets protesting his loss to mean violent protests and threats against those casting votes today.

Now that the electoral votes are cast in all 50 states, the second-to-last step to seating Biden as the 46th president is certification of the Electoral College votes by Congress on Jan. 6.

Following that procedure, which some Republicans in Congress have vowed to disrupt, Biden will be inaugurated Jan. 20. Despite some Republicans protestations at the Jan. 6 certification, their efforts are largely aimed at appeasing Trump and his supporters because the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has the ability to reject any challenges to the Electoral College result.

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