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Pennsylvania certifies Biden win, dimming Trump hopes of overturning election results

The certification comes after Trump pursued various legal challenges in the state.
Image: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris
President-elect Joe Biden speaks about economic recovery on Nov. 16, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.Andrew Harnik / AP

WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania certified its election results Tuesday showing that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, solidifying Biden’s national victory and dealing yet another blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election's outcome.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, tweeted that the Pennsylvania Department of State certified the results Tuesday morning and "as required by federal law, I’ve signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris."

"Today's certification is a testament to the incredible efforts of our local and state election officials, who worked tirelessly to ensure Pennsylvania had a free, fair and accurate process that reflects the will of the voters," Wolf added in a statement.

In total, 3,458,229 votes were certified for Biden and 3,377,674 were certified for Trump, giving Biden a margin of 80,555 votes. In 2016, Trump won the state by 44,292 votes.

Pennsylvania’s certification comes as the Trump campaign continued to pursue a long-shot legal strategy in the state claiming widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots and other issues.

Pennsylvania was expected to certify its election results Monday, but a few counties in the state reported delays. The Secretary of State's office said that votes were submitted by all 67 counties late Monday.

Pennsylvania’s certification is the latest indication that Trump’s efforts to hold onto the presidency are waning. More than a dozen states have already certified their results, including Michigan for Biden on Monday. The Trump administration on Monday formally authorized the presidential transition process, giving Biden access to millions of dollars in federal funds and other resources to begin his transition to power.

Trump and his Republican allies have filed over 30 lawsuits across the country to contest the results, the vast majority of which have been dismissed, denied, settled or withdrawn. No court has found even a single instance of voter fraud.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann dismissed one of the lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania on Saturday, ruling that the campaign was asking the court to "disenfranchise almost seven million voters" and said he could not find any case in which a plaintiff "has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election." Trump's legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, appealed the decision on Monday.

"Trump did everything he could to disenfranchise voters and stop the results from being certified in Pennsylvania," Biden campaign’s legal adviser Bob Bauer said in a statement Tuesday. "Trump did not succeed in Pennsylvania and he will not succeed anywhere else. Trump's lawsuits will continue to fail, as they have in over 30 cases since election day, states will continue to certify their results, and Joe Biden will be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021."

Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico and the District of Columbia, all states won by Biden, are also expected to certify their results on Tuesday. Indiana and North Carolina, where Trump won, are also scheduled to certify on Tuesday.

All states must certify before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14.

Trump, who is facing mounting pressure to publicly concede, spoke briefly to reporters in the White House briefing room Tuesday afternoon, but made no mention of Pennsylvania or the election results. Instead, Trump touted the stock market, claiming credit for its record high.

"I just want to congratulate all the people within the administration that worked so hard. And most importantly I want to congratulate the people of our country because there are no people like you," Trump said, before leaving the room without taking any questions.

Marianna Sotomayor contributed.