279 Biden electors appointed as of Friday, December 4, 2020

As of Friday December 4, 279 electors pledged to Joe Biden had been appointed at the state level. More may be appointed in the coming days.


Associated Press, “Biden officially secures enough electors to become president; Although members of Congress can object to accepting the electors’ votes, it would be almost impossible for Biden to be blocked at that point,” ABC News, December 4, 2020 (8:04 PM EST).

The “Safe Harbor” date, beyond which appointments of electors enjoy a presumption of validity, is Tuesday, December 8.


Elie Honig, “December 8 will put the nail in Trump’s unhinged effort to overturn the election,” CNN.com, December 7, 2020 (Updated 1:35 PM ET).

Trump’s options are running out. The only way he could still win would be if he could prevent the state meetings of electors from taking place, when they are supposed to participate in the Electoral College vote on December 14, or if he could succeed in a battle to recognize alternate pro-Trump slates of electors, in states Biden won, when Congress meets to tally the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021.

Consequently, it appears–as of today–that Trump’s criminal conspiracy to overthrow the results of the November 3 election will not succeed.

Nonetheless, we should bear in mind that Trump is desperate, and unhinged, and could do anything to continue his attempted coup and to remain in power.

Particularly troubling is the refusal by his officials to allow Biden transition officials to meet with the right people at the Defense Department, and in particular with Pentagon intelligence agency officials.

Such meetings could well tip off Biden officials to any efforts or planning by Trump to use military forces to further his coup attempt, e.g. by declaring martial law (as Michael Flynn has urged).

One of the ongoing threats to American democracy that we know of, and yet don’t really know the details of, consists in the Emergency Powers that are classified, and which Trump could still use in his efforts to seize and retain his grip on power.

A top priority for Congress after January 20, 2021 definitely should be to hold public hearings into the nature of these authorities, and to repeal those that appear to be excessive or unconstitutional.

The Trenchant Observer