Republicans in Missouri’s congressional delegation are split on whether to certify the 2020 presidential election results Wednesday. Some are following the lead of U.S. Senator Josh Hawley — a vocal dissenter of the election results — whereas others said they have “faith” in the system.
The split among national Republicans comes as President Donald Trump is encouraging Vice President Mike Pence to reject the results declaring Joe Biden the winner. Pence is set to preside over the certification of the electoral vote count on Jan. 6 as president of the Senate in what is largely a procedural move.
But Republican objections to Biden’s victory in multiple swing states is seen as a last-ditch — albeit, a long-shot one at that — effort to keep Trump in the White House.
Biden received 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 with states having already counted their own electors.
Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri, has led the charge as one of the more vocal objectors to Biden’s victory.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on Jan. 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said. “And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act.”
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, however, is in support of counting the electoral votes.
“I expect there to be a vigorous debate regarding any state where the electors are challenged by at least one House member and one senator. As one of the four members of Congress required to participate in the joint session, I will not be joining any objection,” Blunt said.
As for those representing Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives, four of the six Republicans signed onto an open letter this week regarding their intention to object to the certification of the election results: Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, and Jason Smith.
The lawmakers alleged discrepancies with vote counting in Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, saying it “diminished” Missourians’ votes. (Lawsuits challenging the process in those states have been unsuccessful.)
“We must be able to have confidence in not only the agreement and expectation that this election would follow the law, but future ones as well. We take the responsibility of upholding the Constitution seriously, and that is why we feel compelled to object to the electoral count taking place on Jan. 6,” they said.
But U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner said she will affirm the vote count.
“At this point, all states have certified their election results and electors and alleged irregularities have been taken to state and federal court over five dozen times and rejected, even by judges appointed by President Trump,” Wagner said.
“Although some states needlessly injected controversy into this year’s election by making last minute ballot changes and casting doubt over the management and integrity of their election process, that controversy must be decided either by the states themselves, or the Supreme Court. Both avenues have been tried, the legal process followed, and with that comes a finality that Congress and our nation must respect.
While I may not like the outcome of the election, that does not mean I can, nor should I, try to usurp the powers of the individual states of our republic. To allow Congress to alter the decided outcome of the election would irreparably damage our system of government and defy the Constitution.”
On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer signed onto a letter stating: “In the joint session of Congress today, we will vote to sustain objections to slates of electors submitted by states we believe clearly violated the Constitution in the presidential election of 2020. This is our solemn duty, and our position on this threshold legal question has been widely known and published for weeks.”
Election process in Missouri
Trump handedly won Missouri, beating the former vice president by nearly 57 percent. All 10 of Missouri’s electors cast their ballots for Trump in mid-December without incident.
Although Missouri wasn’t a swing state and its votes weren’t contested, Missouri officials dove into presidential election challenges. And last month, a House resolution calling on Congress to reject the election results in other states failed to make it to the floor.
A demonstration in support of Trump and Hawley is also planned to occur near the state Capitol Wednesday, which is the first day of the legislative session.
This story has been updated. It was originally published on Jan. 5.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.