The year 2021 is going to have some early fireworks, as a coalition of Republican senators and senators-elect plans on objecting to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results during a joint session of Congress. Leading the charge is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and the only thing that this group says will prevent them from this action is an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission.
This appears to be a different initiative than the one coordinated by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who declared this past week that he was all in on objecting to what he called the failure of some states to follow their own election laws.
Cruz is joined by nine other current or future senators who say in a statement released Saturday that the election “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and illegal conduct.”
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes,” the statement said.
Cruz and his cohorts believe they have precedent on their side, as Democrats have objected to election results numerous times, most recently in 2001, 2005 and 2019.
The group of lawmakers is calling for Congress to appoint an Electoral Commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election returns in states where the results are disputed. The precedent they cite was in 1877, when there were allegations of fraud in multiple states in the election that featured Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden.
It’s unsure if more Republican representatives or senators will join this group, who said in their statement, “These are matters worthy of the Congress, and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”