Republican lawmakers led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced in a press release Saturday, Jan. 2,  that they will object to the certification of Electoral College votes and demand that an election commission be established to audit the results. 

The House and Senate will meet in a joint session on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College votes to confirm who will be the next president of the United States. But at least 140 Republican congressmen are expected to challenge Biden’s constituents from states with obvious irregularities during the presidential election and not accept a count of their votes. 

On Saturday morning, a group of Republican senators, announced they will oppose the Jan. 6 certification of presidential election results next week unless an election commission conducts a proper emergency audit of the results.

Cruz and the other senators stated that the presidential election “included unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and illegal conduct.” Their claim is further supported by countless witnesses and reliable documentation of irregularities never before seen in an election.

The senators’ effort comes on top of an announcement by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who said this week that he will oppose what he claims was the failure of some states, especially Pennsylvania, to follow its own election laws.

“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed,” the lawmakers said Saturday in a statement. “By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.”

In addition, the senators are requesting that Congress appoint a commission to conduct an emergency audit of at least 10 days to investigate election results in states where differences are in dispute.

What happened in 1877?

As an example, the senators took a case from 1877, concerning the dispute between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford Hayes, in which several states reported fraud. 

The legislators said, “In 1877, Congress did not ignore these accusations, nor did the media simply dismiss those who raised them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission, consisting of five senators, five members of the House and five Supreme Court justices, to consider and resolve the disputed results.

The legislators’ demand is mainly to follow the example of 1877, and that in order to clear up any doubts about it, Congress immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigative authority, to carry out a complete emergency audit in 10 days, and thus clarify the electoral results in the states under suspicion of fraud.

In case the more than logical claim made by the legislators is not fulfilled, then they will vote against the certification. 

What’s at stake

“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,” they said in the statement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is making a major effort to limit the voices opposing voter certification. But in the event that a significant number of senators oppose the election outcome, and House Republicans make a similar effort, then the joint session of Congress would be dissolved and the House and Senate would have to meet separately to debate the electoral votes of each state in dispute.

Each body would then vote on whether to accept or reject any contested votes. The House and Senate would then reconvene the joint session to decide.