Members of the US electoral college have begun casting their votes in a process that will see Joe Biden formally elected the 46th President of the USA.

The Democrat won November’s contest with a projected 306 electoral college votes to Republican Donald Trump’s 232.

Under the US system, voters actually cast their ballots for “electors”, who in turn, formally vote for candidates, weeks after the election.

Despite this process, President Trump is not expected to accept the result.

Normally, the electors do not get that much attention but this year, due to Mr Trump’s persistent efforts to question and overturn the results – involving legal challenges which have been rejected by courts across the country – the state-by-state vote is in the spotlight.

Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana and Tennessee were among the first states where electors gathered in capitals or in Washington DC today to formally cast their votes.

Heightened security was put in place in some states, including Michigan and Georgia.

In Michigan, legislative offices in the state capital, Lansing, were closed on Monday due to “credible” threats of violence ahead of the vote.