Joe Biden is to becoming the next US president after defeating Donald Trump in a cliff-hanger vote count after November 3 election.
According to most recent projections, Joe Biden has won the key battleground of Pennsylvania, propelling him over the 270 electoral college vote threshold required to clinch the White House.
However, the Trump campaign has indicated their candidate does not plan to concede.
The former vice-president said it was now time for America to “unite and heal”.
He said: “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.”
Joe Biden said he was “honored and humbled” to be elected and said the record turnout in the face of “unprecedented obstacles” showed that democracy “beats deep in the heart of America”.
The result makes Donald Trump the first one-term president since the 1990s.
Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, is set to become the first woman vice-president.
Joe Biden’s victory is based on the unofficial results from states that have already finished counting their votes, and the expected results from states like Wisconsin where the count is continuing.
His projected win in Pennsylvania takes him to 273 electoral college votes.
The 2020 election has seen the highest turnout since 1900. Joe Biden has won more than 74 million votes so far, the most ever for a US presidential candidate. Donald Trump has drawn more than 70 million, the second-highest tally in history.
DonaldTrump had falsely declared himself the winner of the election when vote counting was unfinished. He has since alleged irregularities in counting, but has not presented any evidence of election fraud.
The Trump campaign has filed a barrage of lawsuits in various states and on November 6, as Joe Biden appeared on the cusp of victory, said: “This election is not over.”
The election was fought as coronavirus cases and deaths continued to rise across the United States, with President Trump arguing a Biden presidency would result in lockdowns and economic gloom. Joe Biden accused Donald Trump of failing to impose sufficient measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
Joe Biden is now set to return to the White House, where he served for eight years as President Barack Obama’s deputy.
At the age of 78, Joe Biden will be the oldest president in American history.
Usually the losing candidate concedes but Donald Trump has vowed to contest the election results on several fronts.
Responding to the Pennsylvania results, the Trump campaign put out a statement saying: “This election is not over. The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final.”
A recount will be held in Georgia, where the margins are tight, and Donald Trump wants the same in Wisconsin. He has also vowed to take legal action to the Supreme Court, alleging voting fraud without evidence.
If the election result is challenged, it would require legal teams to challenge this in the state courts. State judges would then need to uphold the challenge and order a recount, and Supreme Court justices could then be asked to overturn a ruling.
Meanwhile, votes in some states are continuing to be counted and results are never official until final certification, which occurs in each state in the weeks following the election.
This must be done before 538 electors from the Electoral College – which officially decides who wins the election – meet in their state capitals to vote on December 14.
The electors’ votes usually mirror the popular vote in each state. However, in some states this is not a formal requirement.
The new president is officially sworn into office on January 20 after a transition period to give them time to appoint cabinet ministers and make plans.
The handover of power takes place at a ceremony known as the inauguration, which is held on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC.
After the ceremony, the new president makes their way to the White House to begin their four-year term in office.
Joe Biden ran for the White House twice before.
In 1988, he withdrew from the race after he admitted to plagiarizing a speech by the then leader of the British Labor Party, Neil Kinnock.
In 2008, he tried again to get the Democratic nomination before dropping out and joining Barack Obama’s ticket.
Joe Biden’s eight years as vice-president allowed him to lay claim to much of Barrack Obama’s legacy, including passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare.