A band of Republicans senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, pledged to object to the Senate certification of the presidential election results when Congress convenes to validate former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6.
The coalition of GOP senators, including Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Braun of Indiana, teamed with Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama to release a joint statement Saturday demanding an emergency, 10-day audit of the November contest by an electoral commission.
“The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided,” the senators wrote. “The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.”
While the Trump campaign has launched an avalanche of legal challenges in several tipping-point states following the November election, no courts, including the Supreme Court, have determined that widespread fraud unfairly changed the outcome in any one contest. The Republican senators, however, while acknowledging the scope of voter fraud is in dispute, pointed to a Reuters/Ipsos poll showing that 39 percent, or nearly two in five Americans, believe “the election was rigged,” therefore warranting a federal commission to restore faith in the process and the legitimacy of its winners.
“There is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017,” Republican lawmakers continued, highlighting the election dispute in 1877 as most similar to this year’s debacle.
“Specifically, the elections in three states — Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina — were alleged to have been conducted illegally,” senators wrote. “In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. 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.”
The latest effort to block Biden’s presidential certification is separate from one announced by Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley last week, who said he would object to the final results on Wednesday over complaints that some states, Pennsylvania in particular, failed to follow election laws.