TENNESSEE (WATE) — U.S Senator Marsha Blackburn, U.S Senator-elect Bill Hagerty announced they will join others in voting to oppose the results of the 2020 election.
The two will join dozens of others planning to cast ballots opposing the results on Wednesday, according to a press release from Blackburn’s office.
The group will also reportedly call for Congress to appoint an Electoral Commission that will act as an investigative and fact-finding authority to conduct a 10-day audit of the election results in the disputed states.
Sen. Blackburn & Sen.-elect Hagerty released the following statement:
“On behalf of Tennesseans, we are taking a united stand against the tainted electoral results from the recent Presidential election. American democracy relies on the consent of the governed. Allegations of voter fraud, irregularities, and unconstitutional actions diminish public confidence in what should be a free, fair, and transparent process. Protecting the integrity of the electoral process is paramount to preserving trust and legitimacy in the final outcome.
For critical moments like these, the Constitution reserves the right to challenge the Electoral College results to members of Congress. On January 6, we will vote to oppose certification of the 2020 election results.”Sen. Blackburn & Sen.-elect Hagerty
Below is a list of those that will reportedly vote to oppose the 2020 election results:
- Senator Marsha Blackburn (R—Tenn.)
- Senator Ted Cruz (R—Texas)
- Senator Ron Johnson (R—Wis.)
- Senator John Kennedy (R—La.)
- Senator Mike Braun, (R—Ind.)
- Steve Daines (R-Mont.)
- Senator James Lankford (R—Okla.)
- Senator-elect Bill Hagerty (R—Tenn.)
- Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis (R—Wyo.)
- Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville (R—Ala.)
- Senator-elect Roger Marshall (R—Kan.)
The group released the following joint-statement:
“America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.
When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.
The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.
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.
And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).
Some Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members of the media.
But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations.
Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.
On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.
At that quadrennial joint session, there is long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.
The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states—Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina—were alleged to have been conducted illegally.
In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission—consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices—to consider and resolve the disputed returns.
We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.
Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.
We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit—conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20—would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.
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.”
U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann offers his support to the group’s efforts
“On January 6, 2021, I will support efforts by my colleagues in the House and Senate to cast light on concerns about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election by objecting during the Electoral College certification. While it has been largely ignored by the media, there are a large number of Americans who do not have faith in the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, including many of my own constituents who have voiced their concerns to me and my office. It would be a disservice to our future elections if we certify the Electoral College results and move on when there has not been any attempt to put the worries of many Americans at ease with a thorough investigation into the allegations of fraud and questions of election integrity.
My support of the objections will not be unprecedented. Following the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected during the certification of electoral votes in order to raise concerns about election integrity. We are now also entitled to voice our concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election.
Many Americans are genuinely concerned and do not have faith in this election. It should be our number one priority to ensure that all Americans have faith in the integrity of our elections. Certifying and moving on without an investigation will only go to further fray and dissolve the trust Americans have in the foundation of our country, our elections. I cannot vote to certify the 2020 Electoral College results when real concerns about election integrity from many Americans across this nation, and in East Tennessee, have been mocked and ignored.”U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann
The Tennessee Democratic Party also issued a response to the recent announcements from Tennessee lawmakers:
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. As of today, Donald Trump has lost 60 out of 61 lawsuits contesting the results, and countless state election officials – both Republican and Democrat – have demonstrated the integrity of the November election. There is simply no proof that the results are anything but the legitimate will of the American people. The decision by Senators Blackburn and Hagerty to refuse to accept the results of this fair and free election undermines the electoral process we have relied on for more than two centuries That they would bend their conscience and character to please one man, Donald Trump, is un-American, a betrayal of the oath they took to defend and protect the constitution, and a slap in the face of the Tennesseans they swore to serve.”
Chair, Tennessee Democratic Party
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