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Evers delivers a sigh of relief during an Electoral College vote held minutes after the state Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit from President Trump.

The 2020 presidential election—the most drawn out and lawsuit riddled in recent history—is coming to an end with members of the Electoral College casting their votes Monday in a national effort that will confirm President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the next leaders of the country.

Wisconsin’s 10-member Electoral College cast its ballots at a meeting that began around noon, less than an hour after the state Supreme Court rejected one of outgoing President Donald Trump’s many lawsuits. The atmosphere inside the Capitol, where electorates sat socially distanced from one another, was celebratory, with thousands of people tuning in to watch the event being live streamed on Wisconsin Eye. 

“It felt like you were in the thick of democracy, right on top of it,” said Sen. Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset), who represented Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District in the Electoral College. “Seeing the 10 of us in the room felt inspirational. It made you feel like you were doing what the people told you to do.”

For a part of the country’s election process that historically is an Election Day afterthought, the actions of the Electoral College this year made for big news. With President Donald Trump failing to win a single one of his numerous legal challenges to the election, the final Electoral College results will be 306 to 232 in favor of Biden. 

Biden won Wisconsin by roughly 20,500 votes.

Minutes before and directly above the state Capitol conference room where the electors were gathering, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected Trump’s effort to overturn 221,000 ballots in the Democratic-leaning counties of Dane and Milwaukee by a 4-3 vote.

Ronald Martin, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), said the electors were waiting in the underground parking garage below the Fred Risser Criminal Justice building across the street from the Capitol when news broke about the Supreme Court’s decision.

The ruling is the eighth time Trump has lost an attempt to overturn the results of the Wisconsin elections in less than two weeks.  

“Someone from the Biden campaign was with us and shouted, ‘Biden wins again,’” Martin said. “I mean, how many times does he have to win Wisconsin?”

That three conservative justices sided with Trump’s efforts to disenfranchise voters in two counties struck a chord with Martin.

“I was shocked to see the Chief Justice [Patience Roggensack] vote the way she did,” Martin said. 

Gov. Tony Evers formally announces the results of the Electoral College voting Monday at the state Capitol in Madison. (Screen image from WisconsinEye)

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Republicans electors pledged to Trump, including party chairman Andrew Hitt and Wisconsin Elections Commissioner Bob Spindell, still met even though their votes will not be counted when Congress tabulates the results next month. 

Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said the Republicans held the meeting “to preserve their legal options as they pursue two appeals in federal court over Wisconsin’s results.”

Earlier this month, however, Trump lost those lawsuits in district court. 

Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison) said being named to this year’s Electoral College was an honor, especially as a Black woman who was able to vote for Harris. 

“It was an emotional moment,” Stubbs said. “I’ve never lived through a pandemic, on top of the fact democracy was under attack. But now the election is over. It is finally over.”

Gov. Tony Evers, presiding over the ceremony, expressed a similar sentiment after formally announcing the final vote.

“We made it,” Evers said quietly.

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