Pennsylvania certified Democrat Joseph R. Biden on Tuesday as the winner of the presidential election in the commonwealth, while President Trump vowed to “never concede” and his legal team pressed ahead with legal challenges of the results in several states.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar certified the results of the Nov. 3 election showing that Mr. Biden won Pennsylvania by 80,555 votes, or 1.2% of all votes cast, four years after Mr. Trump captured the battleground state by about 44,000 votes.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed a “certificate of ascertainment” awarding the state’s 20 presidential electors to Mr. Biden and presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris.
In Nevada, another state on which Mr. Trump was pinning his reelection hopes, the state Supreme Court also certified a victory for Mr. Biden. The next step is for Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak to make it official.
Over the past two days, Mr. Trump’s legal efforts and exhortations on social media have failed to halt election certifications for Mr. Biden in those two states as well as in Michigan, where Mr. Trump lost by about 154,000 votes.
Biden senior adviser Bob Bauer said after Pennsylvania’s certification that all but the president and his campaign lawyers understand Mr. Trump’s presidency will end in 57 days.
“It’s readily apparent to everyone besides Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis that this election is over and that Joe Biden won resoundingly,” Mr. Bauer said.
Democrats and some Republicans pointed to the General Services Administration’s decision late Monday to cooperate on the transition with Mr. Biden as more proof that the election is over. Former House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said it’s important for Mr. Trump to “respect the will of the people.”
“I really think it’s in the president’s best interest to acknowledge these things and not just have the GSA technically facilitate the transfer of power, but to embrace the transfer of power, the system we have,” Mr. Ryan told a Bank of America conference, according to Bloomberg News. “I think it’s in his best interest and clearly in the American people’s best interest to do that.”
But the president insisted that the GSA’s action was a “preliminary” step that doesn’t signify who the ultimate winner will be.
“What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?” Mr. Trump tweeted. “We are moving full speed ahead. Will never concede to fake ballots & ‘Dominion’.”
He also retweeted a news story stating that 79% of Trump voters think the election was “stolen.”
“They are 100% correct, but we are fighting hard,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Our big lawsuit, which spells out in great detail all of the ballot fraud and more, will soon be filled. RIGGED ELECTION!”
In one of two brief public appearances Tuesday, the traditional pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey in the White House Rose Garden, the president referred to his reelection prospects fading at the same time drug manufacturers are nearing completion of vaccines for COVID-19.
“At a time that is very unusual but in so many ways, very, very good, what we’ve endured and been able to endure with the vaccines now coming out, one after another — it’s an incredible thing that happened,” he said.
Mr. Trump also hailed the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping 30,000 for the first time. He said it was due to his policies and the administration’s push for rapid development of vaccines. The benchmark also was hit after GSA’s announcement ending the gridlock over a presidential transition.
Mr. Trump’s legal team is fighting to undo state certifications, saying the real deadline is Dec. 8, the week before the Electoral College convenes.
They have taken their legal fight to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week over Pennsylvania’s results. They’ve argued that several counties violated the Constitution by treating Republican and Democratic voters differently by allowing some voters to cure their mail-in ballots of errors while others were not given the opportunity.
A lower court judge dismissed the case Saturday, saying there was no evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to toss out hundreds of thousands of ballots as the Trump team had sought.
The 3rd Circuit has yet to schedule a hearing on the Trump campaign’s appeal.
Three weeks after the election, Mr. Trump appears far from his goal of reversing the projected outcome. The most likely path to victory for Mr. Trump would have been through Pennsylvania.
If somehow he still prevailed there, he also would need to reverse his projected losses in at least two other states to reach the 270 electoral votes required to win the White House.
The campaign is fighting to make up ground in Wisconsin and Georgia. A recount is underway in Wisconsin in two of the largest counties.
A source close to the Trump campaign said there are enough absentee ballots cast as “indefinitely confined,” or lacking proper applications, that the results could flip the state for Mr. Trump. The question is whether a court would throw out those categories altogether, which could amount to tens of thousands of ballots.
Ballot observers are being forced to stand back because of the COVID-19 restrictions, making it difficult to properly scrutinize ballots during the recount for errors.
“People seem to be annoyed by it, but accepting it,” the source said. “It can’t be like COVID is more important than democracy.”
The Wisconsin recount likely won’t wrap up until just before the state’s certification deadline of Dec. 1. Mr. Trump tails Mr. Biden in the state by about 20,600 votes, or 0.7%.
The Trump campaign is also pushing for an audit in Georgia following the state’s hand recount, but this time the president’s lawyers are demanding signature analysis for mail-in ballots.
The first recount in Georgia did not change the results showing Mr. Biden won, but it did uncover more than 3,000 ballots that had not been tabulated. Mr. Biden took the state’s 16 Electoral College votes by about 12,600 votes, or a 0.2% margin.
Mr. Ryan said the president’s legal challenges “and the attacks on our voting system really need to stop, in my opinion.”
“The outcome will not be changed, and it will only serve to undermine our faith in our system of government, our faith in our democracy,” he said. “The mere fact that the president’s lawyers throw these sort of baseless conspiracy theories out at press conferences but offer no evidence of these in court tells you that there is not the kind of widespread voter fraud or systemic voter fraud that would be required to overturn the outcome of this election. The election is over. The outcome is certain.”