The state GOP, in a news release posted to Twitter, wrote that the electors met in Harrisburg to “cast a conditional vote” for Trump and Pence “at the request of the Trump campaign.”
Their vote comes as Democratic electors voted in the Pennsylvania Electoral College for Democrat Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Electors in other states their votes on Monday as well.
The GOP cited the 1960 presidential election between former Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, who would become the eventual winner. Nixon, who became president years later, “was declared the winner in Hawaii … while Democrat legal challenges were pending,” according to the GOP, noting that a conditional vote was cast by Democratic electors for Kennedy when the electors met in 1960.
“We took this procedural vote to preserve any legal claims that may be preserved going forward,” said Pennsylvania Trump campaign chairman Bernie Comfort in the GOP news release. “This was in no way an effort to usurp or contest the will of the Pennsylvania voters.”
BREAKING: REPUBLICAN ELECTORS CAST PROCEDURAL VOTE , SEEK TO PRESERVE TRUMP CAMPAIGN LEGAL CHALLENGE pic.twitter.com/XVWuR5WzvN
— PA GOP (@PAGOP) December 14, 2020
Trump’s campaign and lawyers for other campaigns have mounted a series of legal challenges in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, and other key states. The majority of those cases in Pennsylvania have been thrown out in state courts.
A White House adviser, Stephen Miller, told Fox News on Monday morning that alternate groups of electors were being chosen in several states, claiming that it would lead to Trump’s reelection.
“The only date in the Constitution is January 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends,” referring to Inauguration Day.
“As we speak today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote, and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,” he added.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said Miller’s suggestion is impossible.
“Under the law, both the House and Senate would need to agree to object to the real electors and accept the fake electors. There is 0.00 chance the House reverses the election,” he wrote
The Electoral College votes are cast on Dec. 14 before they are counted on Jan. 6 during the Joint Session of Congress when the House of Representatives and Senate meet. The electors were effectively certified by their respective governors before they met on Dec. 14.
According to the U.S. Code, when the House and Senate meet, they have to look into “all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes.” Several Republican members of Congress have said they would attempt to object to the counting of the Electoral College votes for a state, which would then trigger a series of debates and votes.
Miller told Fox News that the alternate electors’ votes are designed to keep Trump’s cases in court between Dec. 14 and January.
“That means that if we win these cases in the courts, that we can direct that the ultimate state of electors be certified. The state legislatures in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, can do the same. And likewise, Congress has that opportunity as well to do the right thing,” Miller said.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.