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News Of The Day: U.S. Begins Vaccinations; Electoral College To Affirm Voting Results

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Shortly after 9 a.m., a nurse in Queens rolled up her sleeve and received a vaccine.

(SOUNDBITE OF PEOPLE CHEERING AND CLAPPING)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

An hour later, Vermont's three electors cast their votes for the Democratic candidate for president.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JIM CONDOS: The U.S. Electoral College, required by Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution, meets every four years with one purpose.

CHANG: Two events, typically routine, but in 2020, they are momentous.

KELLY: Across the country today, health care workers received the first doses of an authorized coronavirus vaccine. And members of the Electoral College met in every state to affirm the results of the 2020 presidential election.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STACEY ABRAMS: I am pleased to announce that Joseph R. Biden has received 16 votes for president of the United States.

KELLY: An election President Trump still falsely insists he won.

CHANG: Inside state capitol buildings, in Zoom rooms and in a college gym in Delaware, members of the Electoral College swore their oaths and signed off on their electoral votes.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTERS: I (unintelligible)...

CONDOS: ...Do solemnly swear...

ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTERS: ...Do solemnly swear...

CONDOS: ...That I will be true, faithful...

MARK GOINS: Governor Lee, for the president of the United States, electors for the state of Tennessee cast 11 votes for Donald J. Trump.

RICH FITZGERALD: Electors of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have cast 20 votes for the Honorable Joseph R. Biden for president...

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER #1: ...Joseph R. Biden and for Kamala D. Harris.

TONY EVERS: ...A motion to adjourn the 2020 meeting of the Electoral College of Wisconsin.

KELLY: It was in Wisconsin and Michigan that officers had to escort some Democratic electors into the building. In Michigan, the Capitol building was closed to the public because of threats of violence.

CHANG: In Arizona, electors met at a spot that they had kept secret until voting started for safety reasons. But despite a tumultuous presidential election, Arizona's Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said democracy prevailed.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KATIE HOBBS: This is likely the beginning of a lengthy debate about how to reclaim faith in our democratic institutions. I look forward to those discussions with people of good intent and interest in rebuilding our faith in each other. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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