Confidence in a presidential election has never been lower, with 39 percent of the country in a recent Reuters poll believing this election was “rigged”. There are just too many aspects of concern, too many irregularities and clear violations of the U.S. Constitution by several of the states in question, which is why so many instinctively have little confidence that the presidential election was fair.
The Constitution clearly states that it is the state legislatures that set election law, not governors, state boards of election, state supreme courts or other actors as we know was the case in these states. The late changes made to election laws in these states affect the entire country in the presidential election, disenfranchising voters from other states as well as their own where the state-wide laws were changed for some counties and not others.
I have a hard time believing our Founders intended for Congress to be a simple rubber stamp of approval for Electoral College votes put forward by the respective states. I certainly agree that Congress’ role should be as limited as possible, but if the Founders intended a rubber stamp of approval then why didn’t they give this responsibility to an office in the Executive branch or an office in the Legislative branch?
When more than a third of the American public believe this election was stolen, transparency and truth argue for their opportunity to be heard. I agree the voters of each state should decide. But that is the very point. How do we know legitimate voters actually decided it?
Congress has dealt with voting issues before in presidential elections, which is why the Electoral Count Act of 1887 is law. The law allows for objections and debate of Electoral College votes certified by a state, provided that at least one House member and one Senator object. Certainly, this should only be used in exceptional cases. I would argue this is such an occasion, and it certainly isn’t the first time when it has been employed.
The American people need clarity that this election was fair and truly reflective of the will of the people. Unfortunately, the electoral and judicial processes so far have not provided for a thorough vetting. Congress is the last forum for the arguments to be heard in the short-term.
For these reasons, I will be objecting to the Electoral College votes certified by the states in question and believe the idea proposed by Senator Cruz and other members of the Senate to immediately appoint an electoral commission to do a ten day audit of the votes cast would, if nothing else, help restore confidence in our elections moving forward.
It is not seditious to follow the Constitution, the law, and the process laid out by the Electoral College Act. I recognize that there are others who read the Constitution and the law who come to a different conclusion — that the role of Congress should always be very limited with no question of the certified votes of a respective state. I respect their viewpoint, but disagree. Our Founders argued over such foundational issues as well.
The American people will never have full confidence in another presidential election again without a full vetting of this one — so that the truth, whatever election result that it proves, can be known to all. At a minimum, perhaps this debate will compel states to clean up their acts, just as the hanging chad debacle in 2000 compelled Florida to do.
Sincerely, David Rouzer