Monday, December 14, 2020

Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona Republican Electors Cast Votes for Trump

 BY BOWEN XIAO | The Epoch Times 

President Donald Trump gestures as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House, on Dec. 12, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Republican electors in four states said on Dec. 14 that they would cast their procedural votes for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the latest update contesting the results of the 2020 election.

Republican electors in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, Arizona all said they voted for Trump. It comes as their states formally appointed Democratic electors who voted for Democrat Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

The Pennsylvania GOP said in a news release that electors met in Harrisburg to “cast a conditional vote” for Trump and Pence “at the request of the Trump campaign.” Their vote comes as Democratic electors cast their Electoral College votes for Biden and Harris.

The Pennsylvania GOP cited the 1960 presidential election between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, who would become the eventual winner.

“We took this procedural vote to preserve any legal claims that may be preserved going forward,” said Pennsylvania Trump campaign chairman Bernie Comfort in a statement.

In Georgia, David Shafer, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party, said that GOP electors made their move today because the “President’s lawsuit contesting the Georgia election is still pending.”

“The Republican nominees for Presidential Elector met today at noon at the State Capitol today and cast their votes for President and Vice President,” Shafer said in a Twitter post. “Had we not meet today and cast our votes, the President’s pending election contest would have been effectively mooted. Our action today preserves his rights under Georgia law.”

The same thing was done in Nevada, with the state’s Republican electors casting their vote for Trump and Pence. In a Twitter post by the Nevada GOP, they stated, “History made today.” 

Arizona’s Republican presidential electors also voted for Trump and Pence, according to the state’s Republican party.

The Electoral College votes are cast on Dec. 14 and counted on Jan. 6 during a Joint Session of Congress, when the House of Representatives and Senate meet.

After states have completed their vote counts and gathered the official results, “the U.S. Code (3 U.S.C. Section 6) requires the state governors to prepare, ‘as soon as practicable,’ documents known as Certificates of Ascertainment of the vote.”

“The certificates must list the names of the electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received in the popular election results, also the names of all losing candidates for elector, and the number of votes they received,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

“Certificates of Ascertainment, which are often signed by state governors, must carry the seal of the state. One copy is forwarded to the Archivist of the United States, while six duplicates of the Certificate of Ascertainment must be provided to the electors by December 14, the date on which they meet.”

According to the U.S. Code, when the House and Senate meet, they have to look into “all the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes.” Several Republican members of Congress have said they would attempt to object to the counting of the Electoral College votes for a state, which would then trigger a series of debates and votes.

White House adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News on Dec. 14 that alternate groups of electors were being chosen in several states, claiming that it would lead to Trump’s reelection.

“The only date in the Constitution is Jan. 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends,” referring to Inauguration Day.

Competing Electors

States with close contests between Trump and his rival Biden were expected to potentially produce competing slates of electors, one certified by the governor and the other by the legislature.

It is unclear if all of the Republican electors in the five states were formally certified. Either way, Congress is likely to end up with competing slates of electors come Jan. 6, when the two chambers are scheduled to count the votes. While a process exists to resolve disputes between duelling electors, it has never been tested in the courts.

Approving a set of electors would require the majority in both chambers. The balance of power in the Senate will be determined by the results of the two runoff elections in Georgia. Should Democrats win both seats, a 50-50 tie in the Senate would hand the tiebreaker vote to the vice president.

If lawmakers cannot agree on a set of electors, the country will find itself in uncharted territory, which may prompt intervention from the Supreme Court. If history is a guide, the state delegations in the House may have to pick a president. Republicans have the majority of delegations.

Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips and Reuters contributed to this report. 

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Republican Electors Cast Their Votes for President Trump

By Katie Pavlich | 

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Republican electors from a number of swing states cast their Electoral College votes for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence Monday afternoon.

"Today, Arizona's 11 Republican presidential electors met to cast their votes for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. With ongoing legal challenges to the 2020 presidential election still being heard in the courts, and state legislatures across the country holding hearings on election fraud and voting irregularities, it is imperative that the proper electors are counted by Congress," Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward released in a statement.

Republican electors from Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania made similar moves.

"At the request of the Trump campaign, the Republican presidential electors met today in Harrisburg to cast a conditional vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence for President and Vice President respectively. Today’s move by Republican party electors is fashioned after the 1960 Presidential election, in which President Nixon was declared the winner in Hawaii. While Democrat legal challenges were pending, Democratic presidential electors met to cast a conditional vote for John F. Kennedy to preserve their intent in the event of future favorable legal outcomes," the Pennsylvania Republican Party released in a statement. "The conditional resolution states that electors certify their vote for the President and Vice President 'on the understanding that if, as a result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, [they] are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified Electors for President and Vice President of the United States of America from the State of Pennsylvania."


Republican Electors Blocked From State Capitol in Michigan


Electors from the GOP are denied entry to the Michigan Capital as the Electors from the Democratic Party cast their ballot in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Republican electors in Michigan were blocked on Monday from accessing the state capitol in Lansing.

Democratic electors were permitted to enter.

Only people with appointments or those taking part in the Electoral College process were able to enter the building because it was ordered closed by legislators due to “credible threats of violence,” a Michigan State Police officer told Republican electors while blocking their entry, video footage from the scene showed.

“We are electors,” the group of about a dozen said.

“The electors are already here, they’ve been checked in,” the officer responded.

“Not all of them,” one of the electors rejoined.

“All 16 electors that we’ve been advised by the governor’s staff that were going to be here to vote in the Electoral College have been checked in and are already here,” the officer said.

The Michigan Republican Party didn’t return a voicemail.

The office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, didn’t pick up the phone or return a request for comment.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, both Republicans, didn’t respond to emails. 

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather on the steps of the Michigan state capital as the Electoral College votes, in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images) 

Police officers check the perimeters as Michigan electors gather to cast their votes for the presidential election at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Emily Elconin/Reuters) 

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist opens the state’s Democratic electors at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Carlos Osorio/AFP via Getty Images) 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state’s Democratic electors at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on Dec. 14, 2020. (Carlos Osorio/AFP via Getty Images)

Ian Northon, an attorney with The Thomas More Foundation’s Amistad Project, told reporters outside the capitol that the Republican electors were “being stopped from fulfilling their constitutional duty.”

“I would call upon the Michigan legislature … to finish their investigation so that we know which set of electors should ultimately be chosen before a rash decision is made,” he added.

Michigan lawmakers are probing allegations of election fraud and other irregularities.

Under the Electoral College system, voters choose the presidential candidate they support but they’re actually voting for which slate of electors they want to cast a vote.

The electors from the party whose candidate wins more votes in a state then cast their votes for the party’s candidate about a month after the election.

Those votes are counted by a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

In multiple states where Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was listed as the winner in the certified vote count, Republican electors on Monday cast their votes for President Donald Trump.

Georgia GOP Chair David Shafer said the move was due to a lawsuit from Trump’s campaign pending in the state.

“Had we not meet today and cast our votes, the President’s pending election contest would have been effectively mooted. Our action today preserves his rights under Georgia law,” he said in a statement.

That sets up some states having two groups of electors, a situation known as dueling electors, or alternate electors.

The House of Representatives and Senate will have to decide next month which set of electors to select. If the chambers split, that could lead a state’s electors being rejected by Vice President Mike Pence, the president of the Senate.

The situation played out in 1876, when two sets of electors in several states submitted votes. Republican Rutherford Hayes was eventually declared the winner by one electoral vote, after the parties reached an agreement that that saw Hayes remove all federal troops from the former Confederacy.

Two sets of electors could also bolster the popularity of plans to file objections to the vote counts of some states. Three members of the lower chamber have said they will file objections; two senators are pondering joining them.

Trump adviser Stephen Miller said the situation could lead to Trump winning, pending the outcome of lawsuits in the states.

“That means that if we win these cases in the courts, that we can direct that the ultimate slate of electors be certified. The state legislatures in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, can do the same. And likewise, Congress has that opportunity as well to do the right thing,” Miller said on “Fox & Friends.”

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Alternate Slate of Electors Could Lead to Trump Win, Adviser Says


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, left, and President Donald Trump in file photographs. (Getty Images; AP Photo)

Alternate Slate of Electors Could Lead to Trump Win, Adviser Says

A White House adviser on Monday predicted alternate groups of electors would be chosen in multiple states, and that the process would lead to President Donald Trump winning reelection.

“The only date in the Constitution is January 20. So we have more than enough time to right the wrong of this fraudulent election result and certify Donald Trump as the winner of the election,” Stephen Miller said on “Fox & Friends,” referring to Inauguration Day.

“As we speak today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote, and we’re going to send those results up to Congress,” he added.

Under the Electoral College system, electors are meeting in their respective states on Dec. 14 to cast votes for the next American president.

The votes are then conveyed to Congress, which meets early next year to count them.

Miller was referring to part of an obscure process that some Republicans see unfolding.

Usually, the candidate who gets the most votes in a state gets that state’s electoral votes. But state legislatures are empowered through the Constitution to decide how electors are appointed. Republican-controlled legislatures in key battleground states could choose a slate of electors for Trump even as a group of Democrat electors casts their votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

That could lead to two groups from one state descending on Washington to try to convince lawmakers there to count their vote, and not the other group’s, during the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

The House of Representatives and Senate are guided to review “All the certificates and papers purporting to be certificates of the electoral votes” during the session.

Disputes could fuel the appetite to file objections to the votes from certain states. Federal law lets a U.S. representative and senator band together to file an objection to a state, triggering separate votes in each congressional body.

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller waves to supporters prior to a Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 6, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)Terje Anderson, left, one of the three members of Vermont’s Electoral College, casts his vote at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (Wilson Ring/AP Photo)

If a majority in each chamber approves the objection, that state’s electoral votes are nullified.

Counting the certified votes at present, Biden would win the presidency. But if several states are taken off the board, both candidates would be below the 270 electoral vote benchmark.

That would lead to a little-known secondary system: the House would choose the president, while the Senate would choose the vice president.

Democrats have a majority in the House but each state would only have one vote under the system, giving Republicans an edge.

Trump’s campaign has urged state legislatures to take back their power to appoint electors, but none have so far done so.

Miller said the alternate electors were important in the event the Trump campaign wins cases in court between Dec. 14 and January.

“That means that if we win these cases in the courts, that we can direct that the ultimate state of electors be certified. The state legislatures in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, can do the same. And likewise, Congress has that opportunity as well to do the right thing,” Miller argued.

He asserted that three “Constitutional defects” led to Trump losing: failure to carry out proper signature matching in Georgia, ballots cast in Wisconsin by people who weren’t actually “indefinitely confined,” and uneven treatment of voters in Pennsylvania through the so-called curing of ballots.

“Those three violations alone make Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election,” Miller said.

The Biden team didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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Number of Congress Members Planning to Challenge Election Results Expected to Grow


(Left) President Donald Trump and (Right) Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in file photos. (Getty Images) 

Trio working to convince senators to join them. 

More members of Congress are expected to commit to challenging the results of the Nov. 3 election during the upcoming joint session.

“There’s three of us that have publicly said that we will refuse to certify Electoral College votes for Joe Biden, and I definitely have a very strong feeling that there will be more of us,” Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) told The Epoch Times.

“The number will grow, because I’m talking to a lot of people. Seventy-five million Americans voted for President Trump, and right now 70 percent of that number feel that the election was stolen and that fraud has taken place. We know that we have big problems here in Georgia. So I think this is definitely something the American people will be supporting us in our efforts.”

Greene, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Rep.-elect Barry Moore (R-Ala.) have publicly committed to challenge the election results.

“I think as the process becomes more public and the media starts to get the word out that this is our plan, I feel like there’s good conservative people, ethical people—I’d love to see some Democrats join us,” Moore told The Epoch Times.

“I think we’ll have some join us, certainly some people who say they will stand by the president on the campaign trail—it’s time now to stand and to make sure we get this right.”

Greene and Moore will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2021, three days before the joint session of Congress. Brooks won reelection.

According to the current vote count, Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, narrowly won the election by capturing traditional Democratic states and most swing states.

President Donald Trump and other Republicans allege fraud and other irregularities occurred during the election, such as extended mail-in ballot deadlines that they assert were unlawful.

The Epoch Times will not call the race until all ongoing lawsuits and related matters have been resolved.

Under the Electoral College system, Americans who vote for a presidential candidate are in actuality voting for a slate of electors who go on to vote for the candidate who won the state’s total vote count. Each state has a certain number of electoral votes based on its population.

Electors are scheduled to meet and vote on Dec. 14 in their respective states. They will sign certificates of the vote, which are sent to the vice president, the archivist, and the secretary of state and district court judge in their respective states.

Electors can cast votes for candidates who don’t win the popular vote, but doing so is unusual.

The final decision on the votes will come before Congress early next year. Both congressional chambers will meet in January to count the votes and declare the winners of each state.

Then-Vice President Joseph Biden, presides over the counting of the electoral votes from the 2016 presidential election during a joint session of Congress in Washington on Jan. 6, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Objections can be filed but must be endorsed by at least one senator and one representative. If an objection is registered properly, the joint session will break up and each chamber will meet separately to consider and vote on the objection. A simple majority can pass the objection, rendering the electoral votes for the state in question null.

Democrat representatives registered objections in 2016 but no senators would join them.

No senators have yet committed to a challenge.

Both Greene and Moore have been working to sway senators and senators-elect, but each declined to identify any by name on the record.

“I’m in the process of talking to several senators. I don’t want to say their names right now, but I feel pretty hopeful that I’ll be able to bring out a senator. I think that we’ll be able to get one,” Greene said.

Inquiries sent to every Republican senator and senator-elect who will or who will possibly be in the next Congress weren’t immediately returned.

Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) arrives to the Hyatt Regency hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 12, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Trump thanked Brooks last week for promising to challenge the results. His campaign didn’t respond when asked whether the president is in contact with lawmakers regarding the planned challenges. Biden’s team didn’t immediately return an inquiry.

The challenges are aimed to trigger a little-known, secondary system of electing a president if no candidate reaches the 270 electoral votes required to win. The House of Representatives chooses the president and the Senate picks the vice president. In that scenario, each state has a single vote in each chamber. Republicans have the majority under that system in the House and the Senate, making the option attractive to them.

Brooks, Greene, and Moore plan to file objections because they believe Trump won the election despite the current vote count.

“I’ve lived in Georgia my entire life, and I know for a fact that Georgia did not elect Joe Biden for president. We reelected President Trump,” Greene said, pointing to testimonies given last week during a state legislative hearing in Georgia, alleged election fraud, the video with suitcase-like containers, and counties finding thousands of uncounted ballots during a hand audit.

Greene and Moore pointed to the large crowds Trump drew in pre-election rallies, contrasting them to Biden spending months at home and, when he emerged, holding events with just dozens of attendees.

“I was an early supporter of Trump in 2016, and people were concerned that he could beat Hillary, and I said, ‘Watch the rallies, just look at the numbers.’ And then, this year, the same exact thing, people would say, ‘Well, he’s behind in the polls,’ and I’d say, ‘Watch the rallies,'” Moore said.

“My only concern is that they steal it; I never dreamed that they would actually try to steal it. The data just doesn’t line up to me, and then I have concerns about process. Regardless—regardless—of who ends up winning, we’ve got to get this right. The American people need to have confidence in the process.”

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