By Bria Brown

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan electors cast 16 votes Monday for President-elect Joe Biden, who reclaimed the battleground state for Democrats on his way to winning the White House.

The vote was announced by Democratic Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, who presided over a scaled-back, socially distanced Electoral College ceremony inside the Michigan Senate.

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The Capitol was closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions. Lawmakers also closed their offices because of threats of violence. Electors and some top Democrats were escorted into the Statehouse by state police.

“The people have spoken,” said Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who delivered remarks in which she noted that a record 5.5 million Michigan voters cast ballots in the election despite the pandemic. “It was a safe, secure and fair election.”

Citing baseless allegations of widespread fraud, Trump and his allies had urged the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate Biden’s 154,000-vote, or 2.8-percentage point, victory in Michigan and pushed the Republican-led Legislature to choose electors. But the legally suspect, longshot bid was rejected by the court and by Republican legislative leaders, who pointed to a state law that stipulates that the votes go to the popular vote winner. The state certified Biden’s win two weeks ago — one that was more than 14 times bigger than Trump’s surprise, 10,700-vote margin over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The Capitol building is closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions except when lawmakers meet for session. Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, said legislators’ offices in the statehouse and nearby buildings also were closed based on recommendations from law enforcement.

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“The decision was not made because of anticipated protests, but was made based on credible threats of violence,” she said.

Lawmakers from both parties have reported receiving threats amid Trump’s futile bid to overturn the election results.

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