KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Domenico Montanaro

Wednesday will go down as one of the darkest days in American history.

It was all egged on by a sitting president, who has been unable to accept losing his bid for reelection and who persuaded millions of his followers to buy into baseless, debunked and disproved conspiracy theories.

The result: A mob violently storming and occupying the U.S. Capitol for hours, while staffers and lawmakers were evacuated or hid in fear. The vice president was also rushed from the floor of the Senate and taken to a secure location after criticisms were tweeted from his boss.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET Tuesday

The political world has trained its focus on Georgia's two U.S. Senate races, which will settle the kind of Senate that President-elect Joe Biden will be dealing with.

The races, taking place Tuesday — the day before Biden is slated to be certified by Congress as the winner of the 2020 presidential election — are expected to be close. Consider that Biden won the rapidly changing but previously traditionally Republican state by fewer than 12,000 votes.

Updated at 3:26 p.m. ET

President Trump's done it again.

The man who threatened to cause a ruckus in Washington — and has done so over his four years in office — introduced a new round of disarray Tuesday night.

Trump's pre-Christmas chaos includes:

Updated 7:00 p.m. ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate.

Padilla, 47, the son of Mexican immigrants, will be the first Latino from the state to hold the position. California is almost 40% Hispanic, according to the U.S. census.

Updated 10:41 a.m. ET

What a day Monday was.

The Electoral College affirmed what was already known — that Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Biden officially got the votes of 306 electors, exactly what he was supposed to get based on the popular vote from each state. It was 36 electoral votes more than the 270 needed to become president.

So, it's yet another step showing that Biden is president-elect and that he will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2021.

More Americans voted in 2020 than in any other presidential election in 120 years. About 67% of eligible voters cast ballots this year, but that still means a third did not.

That amounts to about 80 million people who stayed home.

Another official move in America's sometimes-convoluted presidential election process takes place Monday as the electors of the Electoral College cast their votes.

It's one of the final steps in picking a president, but who are these electors and how do they get selected?

It begins and ends with loyalty — loyalty to state and national parties. That in part is how the candidates are all but guaranteed to have the electors' votes match the ballots cast by regular people in general election voting in each state.

Who are they and who picks them?

A solid majority of Americans trust that the results of the 2020 presidential election are accurate, but only about a quarter of Republicans do, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

Sixty-one percent say they trust the results, including two-thirds of independents, but just 24% of Republican respondents say they accept the results.

While President Trump continues to baselessly allege widespread election fraud, the political world is starting to move on from his presidency.

More votes were cast in the 2020 presidential election than in any other U.S. election in history, and the turnout rate was the highest in more than a century.

President-elect Joe Biden has now earned 80 million votes, and ballots are still being counted. That is by far the most votes cast for any presidential candidate in U.S. history. President Trump holds the distinction, however, of earning the second-most votes all time. About 74 million Americans voted for him.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

A U.S. president again took part in the very strange and myth-filled tradition of pardoning a turkey at the White House on Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

Most Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to suggest that President Trump concede the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. They argue that it's best to let Trump expend his legal options before they apply too much pressure.

That pressure has been building and it could be about to go bust this week, with key states certifying the vote totals and making their results official.

Just before midnight on the East Coast on election night, Fox News called Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden.

It was a bold call. It opened up a wider path for Biden to win the presidency after a night that began with a lot of bad news for the former vice president. Florida had been called for President Trump, and other states went for the president by wider margins than expected.

There was a debate in the runup to this year's presidential election about whether it would be a base election or a persuasion one. In other words, what would matter more for a candidate — turning out one side's core voters, or winning over undecideds and wavering supporters of President Trump?

Based on an NPR analysis of the more than 3,000 counties, it was, in fact, mostly a base election with some key persuasion in Democratic-leaning suburbs that went for Joe Biden by wider margins than they did for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday morning.

And yet, President Trump has not conceded or accepted it, and the agency responsible for doling out funds and office space during a transition is denying that money to the Biden team, implying that the results of the election are not yet certain and referencing the "precedent" of the contested 2000 presidential election.

Republicans outperformed the polls up and down the ballot in the 2020 election, to the surprise even of many Republican political operatives and survey researchers.

To be clear, Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Trump; Democrats will still control the House and still have a chance of picking up the Senate.

The tumultuous and chaotic Trump presidency is coming to an end — even if President Trump himself hasn't accepted it yet.

Democrat Joe Biden is now the president-elect, according to calls from The Associated Press, which NPR relies on for race calls, as well as all the other broadcast networks.

Biden is currently at 290 electoral votes, 20 more than needed thanks to Pennsylvania, which was called Saturday. Biden is on track to win 306 electoral votes if his slim lead holds in Georgia.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States, and Kamala Harris has been elected the nation's 49th vice president. The Associated Press called the presidential race just before noon today.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Pages