A group of Republicans has announced plans to reject electors from states they consider disputed if Congress doesn’t create a commission to investigate their claims. They’re the latest Republicans to challenge the Jan. 6 vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.
The effort, based on baseless allegations of voter fraud, will not alter Biden’s path to assuming the presidency but will draw out a normally routine process.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana issued a joint statement Saturday claiming “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”
They were also joined by Senators-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama.
The statement calls for the creation of an electoral commission “with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed state.”
“Accordingly, we 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 that emergency 10-day audit is completed,” the statement goes on to say.
The statement does not mention which states the Republicans considered disputed. Nor does it provide any evidence to back up their concerns.
President Trump and his legal team have targeted several states including Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in their attempts to overturn the election. But those legal efforts all failed because they couldn’t provide clear evidence of fraud or misconduct in the 2020 election.
The statement also come days after Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri promised to vote against electors over concerns “about the integrity of this election.” Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama, has also promised to challenge.
Neither Brooks or Hawley have provided evidence to back up their concerns.
Congressional rules allow for any member of the House joined by a senator to contest the Jan. 6 electoral college vote. The challenge will prompt a floor debate and vote in each chamber.
But even with Saturday’s announcement, most Senate Republicans, including leader Mitch McConnell, oppose intervening in the election results, viewing it as an effort likely to fail because of Democratic control of the House.
The statement cites the election of 1876 between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden as a precedent. In that election, results from several states remained in dispute with Congress ultimately creating an electoral commission to settle the matter. The commission ended up giving the victory to Hayes by one vote.
“We should follow that precedent,” Saturday’s joint statement said. “Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.”