Trump Thanks Alabama Congressman Who Plans to Challenge Electoral College Votes

Trump Thanks Alabama Congressman Who Plans to Challenge Electoral College Votes
President Donald Trump speaks about the election at the White House in Washington on Dec. 3, 2020. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked the U.S. representative who is working to challenge the Electoral College votes during a joint session of Congress early next year.

"Thank you to Representative Mo Brooks!" Trump wrote in a tweet.

Brooks, a Republican who represents Alabama's 5th Congressional District, said this week that he's planning to challenge the College’s votes when Congress certifies the presidential election on Jan. 6, 2021, during the Joint Session of Congress.

“Congress has the absolute right to reject the submitted Electoral College votes of any state which we believe has such a shoddy election system that you can’t trust the election results that those states are submitting to us, that they’re suspect,” Brooks told The Epoch Times last month. “And I’m not going to put my name in support of any state that employs an election system that I don’t have confidence in.”

Brooks responded to Trump, saying it was his pleasure.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden "must not be allowed to 'win' election by 'buying' illegal alien block votes via amnesty & citizenship promise to 11+ million illegal aliens," Brooks wrote, adding: "[in my humble opinion,] if only lawful votes by eligible Americans counted, you won electoral college & reelection."

The Biden campaign has said the election was run smoothly, citing the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity agency.

The United States selects the president through a system known as the Electoral College. Political parties in each state choose people known as electors before the presidential election. During the election, voters are voting to select their state's electors by casting their ballots. Typically, the top vote getter in a state receives all of the state's electors.

The number of electors, or electoral votes, is determined by population size.

 Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). (The Epoch Times)
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). (The Epoch Times)

After states certify election results and any contests are settled, electors vote in their states to choose the president and vice president. They usually vote for the candidate leading the party that chose them as electors. Certificates of the electors' votes in each state are sent to the Vice President of the United States, the secretary of state in the respective state, the Archivist, and to a federal judge in the respective state.

On Jan. 6, 2021, the Senate and House of Representatives are slated to assemble at 1 p.m. in a joint session at the Capitol to count the electoral votes and declare the results. Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, will preside.

"The Vice President opens the certificates and presents them to four tellers, two from each chamber. The tellers read and make a list of the returns. When the votes have been ascertained and counted, the tellers transmit them to the Vice President. If one of the tickets has received a majority of 270 or more electoral votes, the Vice President announces the results, which 'shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons, if any, elected President and Vice President,'" the Congressional Research Service explained in a report.

Members of Congress may object to the returns from any individual state.

Objections require at least one member of each chamber.

If an objection has such support, the joint session recesses, and the two houses separate and debate the question in their respective chambers for a maximum of two hours per objection. The two houses then vote separately to accept or reject the objection and announce the results once reassembled in a joint session.

An objection requires a simple majority in each body. If the objection is approved, the state's electoral vote would be excluded.

Winners require 270 electoral votes. If no candidate gains the required votes, a secondary system is triggered.

A spokesman for Brooks didn't respond Thursday when asked whether he has identified a senator to join his planned objection.

Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ala.) said she met with Brooks on Wednesday and is on board with the planned challenge. A Greene spokesperson didn't immediately reply to a query.

Jack Phillips and Jan Jekielek contributed to this report.