US POLITICS

What will Republican senators do to stop the electoral vote count?

Senator Ted Cruz has thrown his support behind the push by a group of Republicans to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.

0
What will Republican senators do to stop the electoral vote count?
ALEX EDELMAN ANNA MONEYMAKER STEFANI REYNOLDS JIM LO SCALZO ZACH GIBSON DREW ANGERER AFP

Joe Biden will be sworn into office on 20 January 2021. That said, following the presidential election on 3 November - one in which the Democratic candidate had a lead over incumbent Donald Trump greater than that of Obama or Bush's reelection wins (i.e. significant) - his defeated rival has not stopped calling for voter fraud and threatening to get the result overturned.

Trump's efforts, whether genuine or just a mechanism for him to stay the focus of attention and in the meantime allowing him to persuade people to covertly donate hundreds of millions of dollars to his coffers, have encouraged other high ranking Reublicans to take a stand. It's as though they don't believe the US judiciary were fair to throw out 60 or so cases to the same effect.

Cruz joins forces on Republican challenge

On Saturday, Senator Ted Cruz said he will be among a dozen Republican senators who will challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory when Electoral College results are tallied in Congress on 6 January - a largely symbolic move that has little chance of preventing Biden from taking office.

The Republicans join Senator Josh Hawley, who earlier this week became the first sitting member of the Senate to announce he would challenge the election result. A number of Republicans in the US House of Representatives also plan on contesting the vote tally.

Shouting | US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a campaign event in Georgia.

In a statement, Cruz and the other senators said they intend to vote to reject electors from swing states that have been at the center of President Donald Trump’s unproven assertions of election fraud and will call for the establishment of a commission to investigate claims of fraud on an emergency basis. Much like the Trump campaign's previous attempts to find 'justice', they do not appear to be looking for investigations into any of the states where their horse won by a nose.

Cruz was joined in the statement by Senators Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, along with Cynthia Lummis, Tommy Tuberville, Bill Hagerty, and Roger Marshall, all of whom will be sworn in as senators on Sunday in the new Congress.

Judge rejects Mike Pence lawsuit

A judge on Friday rejected a lawsuit filed by a US lawmaker from Texas and other Republicans against Vice President Mike Pence who is set to preside Wednesday over a joint session of Congress to formalize the results of the 2020 presidential election.

US District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle said Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas and the slate of Republican presidential electors for the state of Arizona who filed suit Sunday lack standing to bring the legal action seeking to overturn the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

A spokesman for President Donald Trump referred questions to Pence's office. A spokesman for Pence declined to comment.

Biden beat President Donald Trump by a 306-232 margin in the Electoral College. Under the Electoral College system, "electoral votes" are allotted to states and the District of Columbia based on their congressional representation.