A group of Republican senators and senators-elect, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, will object to the January 6 certification of the presidential election results when a joint session of Congress meets next week unless there is an emergency 10 day audit of the results by an electoral commission.
Cruz — along with Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; John Kennedy, R-La.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Mike Braun, R-Ind.; as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Roger Marshall, R-Kansas; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala. — say that the election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and illegal conduct.”
This effort is separate from the one announced by Senator Josh Hawley, who said that he would object to what he said was the failure of some states – most notably Pennsylvania – to follow their election laws.
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes,” the lawmakers say in a statement.
According to Fox News, it was Ted Cruz who orchestrated the effort, working with other senators to organize the push against the certification and call for the electoral commission with just days before the joint session of Congress.
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The lawmakers say there is a precedent of Democrats objecting to election results in 1969, 2001, 2005 and 2019: “And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged,” they say.
The senators and senators-elect are calling for Congress to appoint an Electoral Commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election returns in states where the results are disputed. They cite as precedent the 1877 between Samuel Hayes and Rutherford Hayes, where there were allegations of fraud in multiple states.
“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy,” the lawmakers say. “Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission — consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices — to consider and resolve the disputed returns.”
“We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. 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,” they say.
Without that, they will vote against the certification.
“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,” they say in the statement.
It is unclear whether they will rally more Republicans to their cause, and the lawmakers note that most Democrats and some Republicans will vote to certify the results, but say that an audit would increase the public’s faith in the process.
“These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it,” they say. “And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”