Pennsylvania GOP Lawmakers Call on Congress to Dispute State’s Electoral College Vote

December 4, 2020 Updated: December 4, 2020

Members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate are calling on Congress to dispute the state’s 20 electors when the Joint Session of Congress meets on Jan. 6.

In a letter (pdf) to the Pennsylvania state delegation, the GOP lawmakers noted that the U.S. Constitution “empowers Congress to reject electoral votes that are not ‘regularly given’ or ‘lawfully certified,’” while adding that conduct from Pennsylvania’s executive branch during the election “has undermined the lawful certification of Pennsylvania’s delegation to the Electoral College.”

Several dozen state lawmakers signed onto the letter, calling on the Pennsylvania delegation to “object and vote to sustain such objection to the Electoral College votes received from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”

During the Joint Session, one House representative and one Senator can object to a state’s Electoral College votes before a debate ensues. Ultimately, all 50 states’ respective House delegations would vote on the president—effectively nullifying the Electoral College vote—while the Senate chooses the vice president.

Several members of Congress, including Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), have said they will make objections during the Joint Session next month.

“I am alarmed and incredibly concerned about the numerous process failures, mistakes, and reports of misdeeds in the 2020 election. Regardless of their political affiliation, we want people to feel confident in the election process,” Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, a Republican, said in a statement.

Benninghoff noted that the state Legislature “constitutionally cannot act” to fix alleged fraud and irregularities during the election. Their letter also says that state law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Josh Shapiro, should investigate.

President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani
President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks during a Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearing Wednesday at the Wyndham Gettysburg Hotel to discuss 2020 election issues and irregularities in Gettysburg, Pa., on Nov. 25, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“There is action that can be taken to ensure the integrity of our election is upheld and the voice of Pennsylvanians is heard,” Benninghoff said. “I hope that the law enforcement entities and our members of Congress take these letters with the seriousness and concern they deserve to ensure the rule of law is followed and the people of Pennsylvania truly have access to free, fair and secure elections.”

State Rep. Seth Grove noted that the Pennsylvania “General Assembly is constitutionally barred from interfering with election results, we are developing every possible option and tool at our disposal to bring transparency and accountability to the 2020 General Election.”

In their letter, the GOP lawmakers accused Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, of undermining state voting laws.

For example, they asserted: “The Pennsylvania Election Code requires that all mail-in ballots be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day; Governor Wolf ordered that this statutory deadline be waived in some counties during the Primary Election, then sought its waiver statewide for the General Election.” They also said that the Pennsylvania Election Code prohibits counties from looking at ballots before 7 a.m. on Election Day but argued that Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar’s office issued guidelines to ignore that rule.

They also said the secretary of state’s office encouraged counties to count “defective absentee or mail-in ballots,” and further said that GOP poll watchers were not allowed to meaningfully observe the vote-tabulation or canvassing efforts in some areas.

Boockvar’s office has repeatedly said that there is no evidence of voter fraud or irregularities that would overturn the election results.  Shapiro has said that his office has seen “absolutely no evidence” of fraud during the election.

Gov. Wolf, meanwhile, said on Friday that he is rejecting calls for a special legislative session.

“Let me be clear—there is absolutely no reason to call a special session,” he wrote on Twitter. “President Trump’s own attorney general [Bill Barr] said there was no widespread fraud. We had a free and fair election and now it’s time to move on.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to Wolf’s office for comment.