California has certified its presidential election and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Joe Biden, officially handing the Democrat the Electoral College majority needed to win the White House.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s formal approval of Biden’s victory brought the Democrat’s tally of pledged electors so far to 279, according to a tally by The Associated Press. That’s just over the 270 threshold for victory. These steps are often ignored formalities. But the hidden mechanics of electing a U.S. president have drawn new scrutiny this year as President Donald Trump continues to deny Biden’s victory and pursues specious legal strategies aimed at overturning the results.

(Story written by MICHAEL R. BLOOD and NICHOLAS RICCARDI/AP)