At least a dozen legislators plan to object to the certification of US Electoral College votes next week, one of the final steps before President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is confirmed.
In a statement on Saturday, 11 Republican senators called for an electoral commission with investigatory power to be created to carry out an “emergency 10-day audit” of US presidential election results in “disputed states”.
“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states … unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed,” the senators said, without specifying which states they were referring to.
The US Congress will vote on January 6 to certify the Electoral College results, capping a lengthy presidential contest that has brought renewed drama to the typically procedural and humdrum process of formalising the results after Election Day.
President Donald Trump still refuses to concede defeat to Biden despite the former vice president’s resounding victory.
Instead, Trump and his allies have continued to falsely claim that widespread fraud marred the elections while seizing on every juncture to attempt to overturn the results – including pressuring allies in Congress to object to the certification of the Electoral College vote.
“An attempt to steal a landslide win. Can’t let it happen!” Trump tweeted on Saturday. Posting a list of the 11 senators, he added: “And after they see the facts, plenty more to come…Our Country will love them for it!”
But the Republican legislators’ last-ditch effort is all but assured to fail.
Both chambers of Congress would need to vote in favour of throwing out a state’s electoral votes for the move to be effective – and the US House of Representatives is controlled by Democrats.
The Republican senators include Ted Cruz, James Lankford and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, as well as four newly elected Republicans who will be entering the Senate this week.