A group of Republican senators signed a letter announcing their intent to dispute the result of the presidential election in battleground states on January 6, when Congress is expected to certify the Electoral College votes. While their efforts will likely not overturn the result of the race, they will still send a message to the rest of the country regarding their resolve to ensure the integrity of future elections.
A Vote Against Electors
The senators released a joint statement on Saturday proclaiming their intention to vote against electors from key battleground states whose votes are still in dispute. This group of lawmakers includes Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Mike Braun (R-IN), along with Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL).
“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law,” the letter began, “the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.”
The senators continued, outlining their reasons for disputing the election’s outcome and citing “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.” Sen. Cruz and his colleagues argued that it would have been better if the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and make a judgment, but since it refused, those who wish to preserve election integrity must take another route. They also brought up the Democrats’ challenges to elections in the past:
“At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.”
To reinforce the legitimacy of their objection, the Republicans point to a recent poll that indicates a significant level of distrust among Americans in the reported outcome of the election:
“[T]hose allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).”
The letter expressed “intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until [an] emergency 10-day audit is completed.”
What Happens After?
These Republicans acknowledge that most of their colleagues on both sides of the aisle will still vote to certify the election results. But they insisted that a “fair and credible audit – conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20 – would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President.”
As of this writing, almost all of President Trump’s lawsuits have failed to gain traction in the courts, and the Electoral College voted to name former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the election. While some are still hoping for a miracle, it appears that the die is cast. But this battle could give Republicans an opportunity to fix the issues that the Democrats exploited and thus prevent such a fiasco from occurring in the future.
Read more from Jeff Charles.