President-elect Joe Biden has reached a historic milestone thanks to the recent presidential election. According to PEOPLE, Biden has become the first candidate in history to receive more than 80 million votes (the exact number is still to be determined, as many states are still counting mail-in ballots). Interestingly enough, President Donald Trump has received the second-highest total number of votes in U.S. presidential history, as he has garnered more than 73 million votes and counting.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Biden has received 80,033,996 votes, per Cook Political Report's popular-vote tracker. Although, that number is expected to rise as some states are still counting votes due to a major influx of mail-in ballot voting this year. Trump has received 73,880,000 votes, again, with the final count yet to be determined. Not only is the president the second-highest vote-getter in U.S. presidential election history, but he is the only incumbent who has received more than 70 million votes. Biden previously broke the popular vote record shortly after Election Day, as he crossed the 70 million threshold and surpassed the previous record-holder, President Barack Obama. In the 2008 election, Obama received around 69 million votes, the most votes ever cast for a candidate at the time.
Biden's win made history in more ways than one. In addition to securing the highest number of votes for any candidate, the president-elect's ticket was a history-making one. Biden will become the oldest president when he is inaugurated on Jan. 20 (he will be 78 at the time of the inauguration). Additionally, Biden's running-mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, will become the first woman and the first woman of color to become the Vice President. Biden and Harris were officially projected to be the winners of the presidential election on Nov. 7 after receiving enough votes in the electoral college. However, Trump has yet to concede and has vowed to challenge the outcome of the election in court.
While Trump has said repeatedly that he will challenge the outcome of the election, the General Services Administration (GSA) officially informed the president-elect on Monday that he can begin his transition. GSA Administrator Emily Murphy reportedly signed off on this action, which is called ascertainment, and wrote that she came to this decision "independently." She wrote, "Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination." Shortly after the news went public, Trump took to Twitter and seemingly contradicted Murphy's statement. He wrote that he had directed the GSA to "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols." Hours later, the president also wrote that he would "never concede to fake ballots [and] 'Dominion.'" It should be noted that despite what Trump has claimed, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.