Joe Biden has promised to be a “president for all Americans” after topping the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory over Donald Trump in the US presidential race.
The former vice-president was called as the winner of Pennsylvania on Saturday, meaning he has an insurmountable lead in the race for the White House.
Biden, who also won Nevada, said he is “honoured” that America has “chosen me to lead our great country”, adding that it is time for the US to “unite” and “heal”.
Winning the vote in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona – three states that voted for Trump in 2016 – opened up several pathways to the presidency for the Democratic candidate.
It was victory in Pennsylvania, some four days after polls closed that saw him over the line.
A little earlier, Trump, who has yet to concede, left the White House reportedly to play golf.
Biden, who is expected to speak at around 1am UK time, said on Twitter: “America, I’m honoured that you have chosen me to lead our great country.
“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a president for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.
“I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
In a statement, Biden said: “I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in vice president-elect Harris.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.
“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.
“We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
Meanwhile, Trump said in a statement he considers the election “far from over” as he repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraudulent ballots and vowed to press ahead with legal action.
He said: “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over.
“Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.”
Trump added: “Beginning (on) Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots and not counting any illegal ballots.
“This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election.
“It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured or cast by ineligible or deceased voters.
“Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.
“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American people have the honest vote count they deserve and that democracy demands.”
On Saturday morning, a top election official dismissed Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
Trump posted a number of tweets on Saturday, alleging that “bad things” happened, referring to votes being “illegally received” and insisting he has won “by a lot”.
But Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub said there has been no evidence of voter fraud.
Speaking on CNN after Trump’s string of tweets – which were flagged by Twitter as containing information about the election that may be “misleading” – Democrat Ms Weintraub said: “State and local officials, and poll workers throughout the country, really stepped up.
“And there have been very few complaints about how this election has run.
“Very few substantiated complaints, let me put it that way. There is no evidence of any kind of voter fraud.
“There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast.
“In fact, and you don’t have to take my word for it because people throughout the country, non-partisan election experts have come out and hailed this election and how it was run.
“If you want to look at the state of Pennsylvania, which the president seems to be focused on, Senator (Pat) Toomey has come out and said he has seen no evidence of fraud there.
“The Republican leader of the state senate there has also said he has seen no evidence of fraud.”
She added: “There really has been no evidence of fraud. None of the complaints have attached any evidence of fraud.
“Really, we should feel very proud of ourselves.”
Her comments came after Trump wrote on Twitter that tens of thousands of votes were “illegally received” after 8pm on Tuesday “totally and easily changing the results in Pennsylvania and certain other razor thin states”.
Trump said there will be a “big press conference” in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon UK time, adding on Twitter: “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!”
Twitter flagged this tweet, saying official sources may not have called the race when it was tweeted.