(ATF) Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States after a fourth day of counting in the 2020 election established that the Democrat had won the key battleground state of Pennsylvania.
The President-Elect beat off President Donald Trump in a tense contest that threatens to drag on yet as the unrepentant incumbent seeks to overturn results with lawsuits in a number of states.
Trump becomes only the third president in the past half a century to serve just a single term.
The declaration of Pennsylvania as a Biden win gave him more than the 270 electoral college votes required to take him to the White House. Saving any further hold ups or successful challenges by Trump, the 77-year old former Vice President will be sworn in on January 21.
Supporters of both men gathered in chanting crowds outside counting centres; Biden supporters cheered his win while those of Trump denounced the vote as a fraud, as Trump has claimed repeatedly without giving any evidence.
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Trump has launched a slew of legal challenges in each of the key states still up for play, but has been largely rebuffed.
In most recent setback, a US Supreme Court justice on Friday denied a request by Pennsylvania's Republicans to immediately halt the counting of ballots arriving after Election Day – referring the challenge to the full court to consider on Saturday.
Samuel Alito ordered Pennsylvania in the meantime to continue keeping the late-arriving ballots separate, affirming a decision already made by the state's top elections official Kathy Boockvar, who told CNN they were unlikely affect the outcome in any case.
The last-ditch petition for an emergency injunction targeted thousands of ballots.
Most are believed to favour Biden, and Republicans say they should be disqualified under Pennsylvania state law.
Trump claims, broadly, that the mailed-in ballots – which reached unprecedented number as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – should not have been counted. Regardless, the counts continue.
Leaders from around the world congratulated the President-Elect, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the BBC reported.
Trump was playing golf when his defeat was called by TV stations across the US.
- Additional reporting by AFP