At least one Idaho lawmaker plans to object to the counting of electoral votes from some of the swing states that gave Democrat Joe Biden his win in the presidential contest with incumbent Republican Donald Trump.
“A number of you have shared valid concerns regarding the results of the Nov. 3, 2020 election, particularly in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan,” U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher, a Republican who represents western and northern Idaho, said in a video he released Monday.
Fulcher said the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the authority to prescribe how their electoral votes are awarded, but that some state executive officials or courts bypassed their legislatures in the way they sent out mail ballots or otherwise changed voting procedures in ways not in accordance with the laws their legislatures had passed.
“These actions warrant that Congress exercise its constitutional responsibility to question election results for any state in violation of their own election laws,” Fulcher said.
Electors have already met in state capitals around the country to cast their votes, and the U.S. House and Senate are scheduled to meet in a joint session Wednesday to accept the results. Biden got 306 electoral votes, having flipped Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, while Trump got 232.
About a dozen Republican senators and dozens of House Republicans have said they plan to object to the results, likely turning what is normally a ceremonial event into the most heated since 1877, when several states submitted competing slates of electors and an impasse led to the creation of a commission that negotiated a compromise handing the presidency to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for the removal of federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction and setting up the rise of one-party Democratic rule and racial segregation throughout the region.
Ever since Election Night, Trump and his supporters have been challenging the election results and claiming he won, alleging voter fraud or irregularities in swing states and filing several dozen unsuccessful court challenges. It does not appear likely that Wednesday’s challenges will change the results. If there is an objection to any state’s results — which needs to be signed by both a senator and a House member — the joint session is suspended and both chambers consider it individually and both would need to agree to sustain the objection. With a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and with enough Republican senators in the Senate, which has a narrow GOP majority, having said they oppose the challenges to add up to more than 50 votes with the Democrats, there would seem to be little chance the objections will be sustained.
U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, Idaho’s other Republican congressmen, and the state’s two U.S. senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have not said anything publicly about whether they plan to join their Republican colleagues in objecting to the count, and their offices didn’t immediately say what they plan to do Wednesday when contacted by the Post Register. Simpson did join Fulcher and 104 other House Republicans in signing onto a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court last month backing a lawsuit challenging the results. The court rejected the case without hearing it.