Republican Lawmakers Object to Certification of Electoral College Votes
Updated January 7, 2021 at 10:22 AM
As members of Congress met in Washington to begin the process of voting to confirm states’ electoral college votes for the presidential election Wednesday, several Republican lawmakers called for a delay of the certification of six contested states’ votes until after further investigations into election fraud are completed. Other Republicans said it would be an abuse of power to contest the states’ electoral college votes.
In the Senate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz objected to the certification of Arizona’s votes. He called for the appointment of an electoral commission of lawmakers and Supreme Court Justices to audit and resolve election fraud claims over a course of ten days, citing the Hayes Tilden Presidential Election of 1876 for precedent.
“All of us are faced with two choices, both of which are lousy. One choice is vote against the objection, and tens of millions of Americans will see a vote against the objection as a statement that voter fraud doesn’t matter, isn’t real, and shouldn’t be taken seriously, and a great many of us don’t believe that. On the other hand, most, if not all of us, believe we should not set aside the results of an election just because our candidate may not have prevailed. So I endeavor to look for door number three, a third option, and to that I look to history, to the precedent of the 1876 election. The Hayes Tilden election where this Congress appointed an electoral commission to examine claims of voter fraud, five House members, five Senators, five Supreme Court justices, examined the evidence and rendered a judgement, and what I would urge is that this body do the same, that we appoint an electoral commission to conduct a ten day emergency audit, consider the evidence, and resolve the claims,” Cruz said.
“The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility this day to count the votes. The Framers knew what they were doing when they gave responsibility to Congress. We have a responsibility, and I would urge that we follow the precedent of 1877. The Electoral Count Act explicitly allows objections such as this one for votes that were not regularly given. Let me be clear, this objection is for the state of Arizona, but it is broader than that. It is an objection for all six of the contested states to have a credible, objective, impartial body hear the evidence and make a conclusive determination. That would benefit both sides and improve the legitimacy of this election,” he added.
Who now looks like soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called for a confirmation of the states’ votes and said he did not believe the constitution was designed with the intent for lawmakers to have the ability to overturn a presidential election. He cautioned that an attempt to do so would degrade our institutions of democracy.
“The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance…We’ll either hasten down a poisonous path where only winners of elections accept the results, or show we can still muster the patriot courage our forbearers showed not only in victory but in defeat. The framers built the Senate to stop short-term passions from boiling over and melting the foundations of our republic. So I believe protecting our constitutional order requires respecting the limits of our own power. It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise the American voters and overrule the courts on this extraordinarily thin basis,” McConnell said.
In the House, Arizona Representative Paul Gosar called for lawmakers not to count the votes of his state until a forensic audit of his state’s election is completed, which he said the Arizona Secretary of State has not allowed. He claimed that data reports and analysts proved that enough election fraud occurred in his state, where Biden won by about 10,500 votes, to flip the results from Trump to Biden.
“In the only audit done in Arizona, a court found three percent error rate against Trump, Biden’s error rate was only .3 percent. By the way, a 3% error is 90,000 ballots. After finding the 3% error, the court stopped the case and didn’t look any further,” Gosar said.
After about an hour of debate on this matter, the Capitol was placed on lockdown as Trump supporters protesting what they believe to have been a rigged election entered public and non-public areas of the Capitol building. President Trump had held a rally in DC earlier that day, which was reportedly attended by hundreds of thousands of people.
According to a Rasmussen poll, 47% of voters say it’s likely that Democrats stole votes or destroyed pro-Trump ballots in several states to ensure Biden would win.
During the protest at the Capitol, President Trump tweeted twice asking the protestors to remain peaceful and respect law enforcement officers. About two hours after protestors entered the Capitol, as they were gathered mostly outside the Capitol, President Trump posted a short video to Twitter and Facebook telling his supporters to leave the capitol.
The protest in the Capitol appeared to mostly disperse after Trump’s video message and after more police arrived. As of 5:50 PM CT, Twitter had censored those tweets completely and Facebook had removed his post so that they are no longer available to view. Later that night, Twitter announced a 12 hour ban on President Trump's Twitter account, and the next day Facebook banned Trump "at least" until the end of his presidency.
Late Wednesday night, a majority of Republicans in the House voted to agree to the objection of Arizona's electoral college votes, with a final vote tally of 122-82 among House Republicans. In the Senate, six Republican senators voted for the objection to Arizona's votes. Seven Republican senators also voted in favor of an obection to Pennsylvania's votes. With every single Democrat and a significant number of Republcan lawmakers voting against the objections, both chambers of Congress approved all of the states' electoral votes. In the early hours of Thursday morning, Vice President Mike Pence announced that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.