Senate Republican Opposition Grows to Plan to Contest Electoral College Results

January 5, 2021 Updated: January 5, 2021

More Senate Republicans on Monday announced their opposition to the plan by colleagues to object to electoral votes on Jan. 6.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), up for reelection in 2022, said in a statement that he supports President Donald Trump but that “under the Constitution, states are responsible for our elections, and the people, through the Electoral College, elect the president.”

“Each state certifies its electoral vote, not Congress. The people of North Dakota do not want Congress to determine their vote, and we should not set the precedent by doing it for other states. Therefore, I do not plan to object,” he added.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who won election in 2018 with Trump’s backing, also said he won’t be backing the push to challenge electoral votes during the joint session of Congress.

“While I share the concerns of those who plan to object, the Founding Fathers did not design a system where the federal legislative branch could reject a state’s certified choice for president in favor of their own. They created the Electoral College—and gave state legislatures the authority to decide how electors are chosen—to ensure small states like North Dakota have a voice at the national level that cannot be silenced by large states like New York and California, and the opposite is also true,” he said in a statement.

“I do not have the authority to overturn the will of other states on behalf of North Dakota, nor do other members have the ability to overturn the will of my state.”

And Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who won another term in 2020 with an endorsement from Trump, said she would not object to electoral votes.

“Some have argued that the electoral votes of several states should be rejected due to fraud. Our Constitution contemplates each state holding its own election and certifying electors who will cast ballots for president. It would be a grave step for Congress to refuse to count electoral votes that are certified by their state government,” she said in a statement.

“At an absolute minimum, I believe that Congress should only consider rejecting the electoral votes certified by a state when there is clear and convincing evidence both that there was misconduct in that state’s election and that the result of the election would have been different absent that misconduct.”

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) participates in a mock swearing-in ceremony in Washington on Jan. 3, 2021. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) earlier Monday said he would not support the group planning to object, following similar pronouncements by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday.

According to an Epoch Times tally, 25 Republican senators oppose the effort to object to votes, including most members of the Senate GOP leadership.

Thirteen senators, on the other hand, have committed to objecting. The latest was Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who announced her intention on Monday night.

“I will object to the Electoral College vote. We’re going to get this done,” she told a rally in Dalton.

During the joint session, certificates from states are read. Upon reading a certificate, the vice president calls for objections, if any. Every objection must be in writing, must state clearly the grounds for the objection, and must be signed by at least one senator and one representative.

If the requirements are met, the chambers withdraw from the joint session and hold a two-hour debate, followed by votes. A majority vote in each chamber would uphold an objection.

Unless most Senate Republicans change their minds, the objections will fail. No Democrats have signaled an intention to support objections; most say they oppose the move.

Republicans hold 50 seats in the Senate to Democrats’ 49. The seat held by David Perdue became vacant over the weekend, pending the results of the Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections.

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