Call it a January surprise. It’s a major move that gives teeth to the objections already raised about the results of the Electoral College vote on Dec. 14, 2020.
On Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 10 other GOP senators released a statement that “voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed.”
They further noted, “America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.”
The group is planning to demand an emergency audit of the election results. Citing the precedent of 1877, they want Congress to “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,” according to the statement they released.
Those also signing on to the statement include Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Mike Braun (R-IN).
In addition, 140 House Republicans have signaled that they, too, will oppose the certification of Electoral College votes.
Vice President Mike Pence, through his chief of staff, released a statement on Saturday that he “welcomes” the GOP lawmakers’ efforts to object to the Electoral College results.
As Christian News Journal reported earlier, President Donald Trump has been challenging the November 2020 election results in a number of states—including Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, where evidence of election irregularities and election fraud has surfaced. Multiple legal challenges have been waged.
In December, the presidential electors gave Democrat Joe Biden 306 electoral votes and Trump 232 electoral votes. However, Congress must still certify those election results.
On January 6, 2021, a Joint Session of Congress is set to convene to tally the Electoral College votes and certify the results.
Related: How to Speak Up About the Electoral College Vote
Now, Cruz and his colleagues say they “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 also say, “We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise.”
They continue, “But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit-conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20-would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.”
All Americans, of course, can still make their views known before January 6. All those who believe in democracy, in free and fair elections, can speak up. All those who believe we need Trump to continue leading the nation as a beacon of freedom and a land of opportunity can call or email their senators or representatives right now. Assert that you still support President Trump—and that you want an objection to the Electoral College results filed for your state.
(The objection from an elected official must be made in writing—and it must be signed by at least one senator and one House member. Assuming the objection is properly made, the Joint Session of Congress is then suspended—and the chambers of Congress meet separately to consider it.)
Related: Members of Congress Meet with Trump Over Electoral College Challenge
America’s elected officials—placed in positions of power and voice by their fellow citizens—need to know how Americans feel, as CNJ noted earlier. They need to know that the millions of Americans who voted for Trump in November still back him, still support him.
What is true is that our very democracy is at stake, not just in this election but in future elections.
The results in a number of states are far from clear and the president has been pursuing all legal and constitutional avenues to “stop the theft of the presidential election,” as Trump himself said in a video message to Americans on Tuesday night, Dec. 22.
In that video, Trump called on American citizens to speak up and fight for justice and integrity in our election process.
“Now is the time for the American people to raise their voices and demand that this injustice be immediately corrected,” Trump said in the video.
“Our elections must be fair, they must be honest, they must be transparent, and they must be 100 percent free of fraud,” he also said. “We cannot allow a completely fraudulent election to stand.”
As Sen. Cruz and his colleagues noted in their statement, “The allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election “exceed any in our lifetime.” They also noted, among other points, that the Supreme Court has declined to hear evidence of alleged fraud.
Here’s how to speak up now about the Electoral College vote results.
Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, and digital content strategist in the New York City area.