Kamala Harris makes history: First Indian American formally elected US vice president

Kamala Harris made history as the first Indian American and the first woman to be elected vice president of the United States when the electoral college affirmed her victory and that of Joe Biden as president in the bitterly fought election for the nation's leadership

Arul Louis Dec 15, 2020
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Kamala Harris made history as the first Indian American and the first woman to be elected vice president of the United States when the electoral college affirmed her victory and that of Joe Biden as president in the bitterly fought election for the nation's leadership. The members of the electoral college met in state legislatures across the country at different times to vote and the final results – 306 for Biden and 232 for Trump – reflected the November election's outcome.  

The electoral college officially sealed their election on Monday, giving voice to the 81 million voters who cast their ballots for the Democratic party team, while President Donald Trump continued to question the legality of the election asserting that there was widespread fraud.

Harris, whose mother Shyamala Gopalan is from India and her father Donald Harris is a Jamaican of African descent, will also be the first African American vice president.

“I may be the first, but I will not be the last. It’s on those of us leading the way to leave the door more open than it was when we walked in,” she tweeted on Sunday about her string of firsts.

There have been two unsuccessful women candidates for vice president – Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008.

Seventy-eight-year-old Biden will be the oldest person to become president. He will also be the second Catholic after John F. Kennedy elected president.

Biden declared after the electoral college completed its voting, “In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed. We the People voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact.”

The way was cleared for the electoral college to vote after the US Supreme Court threw out on Friday an appeal by Republicans against the conduct of the elections in some of the states and Wisconsin State Supreme Court on Monday dismissed another case brought by Trump.

A peculiarity of the US is that certain media declare the election results before they are officially done, even while the counting still on, and politicians generally accept the verdict. However, Trump had refused to accept the media reckoning but will now have to abide by the electoral college verdict with little recourse.

In the US political system, the presidential elections are held indirectly with the citizens voting for the 538 members of the electoral college distributed among states based on their size. These electors formally elect the president and vice president in separate ballots.

The next stage is a meeting of the newly elected Congress on January 6 to formally count the electoral votes and certify the election.

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