Dec. 14 (UPI) -- President-elect Joe Biden on Monday hailed his election win a victory for democracy, praising high voter turnout amid challenges from President Donald Trump after the Electoral College affirmed the vote.
"Once again, in America, the rule of law, our Constitution and the will of the people prevailed," Biden said. "Our democracy -- pushed, tested, threatened -- proved to be resilient, true and strong."
Biden noted that the nation experienced record turnout in the 2020 presidential election, despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In the start of this pandemic, this crisis, many were wondering how many would even vote at all, but those fears proved to be unfounded," he said. "We saw something very few predicted or even thought possible: the biggest voter turnout in the history of the United States of America. A number so big that this election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people."
Appealing to Trump to accept the results of the election, Biden noted that the 306 electoral votes he received was the same number that elected Trump in 2016.
"At the time, President Trump called the Electoral College tally a 'landslide,'" Biden said. "By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now."
He also criticized Trump's many failed legal challenges and a Texas lawsuit seeking to decertify the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as "a position so extreme we've never seen it before" but praised the Supreme Court's unanimous rejection of the Texas suit.
"Every single avenue was made available for President Trump to contest the results, he took full advantage of each and every one of those avenues. President Trump was denied no course of action he wanted to take," Biden said.
Biden condemned the political pressure, verbal abuse and threats experienced by state and local officials and election workers amid challenges to the election as "unconscionable."
"Our friends and our neighbors -- often volunteers -- Democrats, Republicans, Independents, demonstrating absolute courage, they showed a deep and unwavering faith in and a commitment to the law," he said. "They did their duty in the face of a pandemic. And then they could not and would not give credence to what they knew was not true. They knew this election was overseen, it was overseen by them, it was honest, it was free and it was fair."