Vermont begins Electoral College voting with 3 votes for Biden

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Vermont cast the first three presidential votes of the Electoral College for Democrat Joseph R. Biden on Monday morning, followed quickly by Tennessee’s 11 electors voting for President Trump.

Federal law requires the Electoral College to meet in all 50 state capitals in December to cast its votes, one of the last steps to officially certify a new president before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden is expected to finish the balloting later Monday with 306 electoral votes to President Trump’s 232. A candidate needs 270 to win the presidency.

The states’ votes were rolling in by the hour, with the largest state, California, due to vote at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Thirty-two states and in the District of Columbia have laws requiring electors to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in those states. But 17 other states allow electors to vote for the candidate of their choice.

The Supreme Court ruled last summer that so-called “faithless electors” who don’t vote for the candidate they were pledged to support can be punished by the state.

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