On Wednesday, Josh Hawley became the first Senator to announce he was officially raising an objection to the vote count in Congress next week. “I cannot vote to certify the Electoral College results on January 6th without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania failed to follow their own state election laws,” Hawley said in a statement.
Election law allows any member of congress to object to any state’s votes, but if a member of each house objects, the Electoral Vote Act of 1887 is triggered. This has happened twice, first in 1969, and then in 2005. Neither challenge was successful.
The following statement was released by Senator Josh Hawley’s office Wednesday, December 30, 2020:
Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced he will object during the Electoral College certification process on January 6, 2021. Senator Hawley will object to highlight the failure of some states, including notably Pennsylvania, to follow their own election laws as well as the unprecedented interference of Big Tech monopolies in the election. He will call for Congress to launch a full investigation of potential fraud and election irregularities and enact election integrity measures.
Democrats have previously objected during the certification process for the 2004 and 2016 Presidential elections.
Senator Hawley said, “Following both the 2004 and 2016 elections, Democrats in Congress objected during the certification of electoral votes in order to raise concerns about election integrity. They were praised by Democratic leadership and the media when they did. And they were entitled to do so. But now those of us concerned about the integrity of this election are entitled to do the same.
“I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws. 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.
“For these reasons, I will follow the same practice Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues.”
Background On Previous Objections to Electoral College Vote Certification
- In 2005, Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones Objected to the Electoral College Votes from Ohio.
- Stephanie Tubs-Jones Said, “I Raise This Objection Because I Am Convinced That We As A Body Must Conduct A Formal And Legitimate Debate About Election Irregularities.” (C-SPAN, 1/6/05, 3:10-3:20)
- Boxer views her 2005 objection as “her proudest moment on the Senate floor,” according to CNN. (CNN, 12/27/2020)
- In January 2005, 31 Congressional Democrats Voted To Reject Ohio’s Electoral Votes. (CNN, 1/6/05)
- Nancy Pelosi Praised The 2005 Objections, Saying Democrats Were “Speaking Up For Their Aggrieved Constituents” During “Their Only Opportunity To Have This Debate While The Country Is Listening”
- Nancy Pelosi Said “We Are Witnessing Democracy At Work” And “This Debate Is Fundamental To Our Democracy.” “[T]oday we are witnessing democracy at work. This is not, as some of our Republican colleagues have referred to it, sadly, frivolous. This debate is fundamental to our democracy.” (C-SPAN, 1/6/05, 32:49-33:08)
- Pelosi Said Democrats Were “Speaking Up For Their Aggrieved Constituents, Many Of Whom May Have Been Disenfranchised In This Process.” “The Members of Congress who have brought this challenge are speaking up for their aggrieved constituents, many of whom may have been disenfranchised in this process. This is their only opportunity to have this debate while the country is listening, and it is appropriate to do so. If there were other venues of this caliber, we would have taken that opportunity. But this is the opportunity. We have a responsibility to take advantage of it.” (C-SPAN, 1/6/05, 34:14-34:45)
- Pelosi Said “This Is Their Only Opportunity To Have This Debate While The Country Is Listening” And “We Have A Responsibility To Take Advantage Of It.” (C-SPAN, 1/6/05, 34:14-34:45)
- Pelosi Said “Do Not Talk About This As A ‘Conspiracy Theory.'” “[P]lease do not talk about this as a ‘conspiracy theory.’ It is not about that. It is not about conspiracy; it is about the Constitution of the United States.” (C-SPAN, 1/6/05, 39:50-40:03)
In 2017, At Least Seven House Democrats Sought To Object To Electoral Votes In Favor Of President Trump:
- Jim McGovern Said “The Electors Were Not Lawfully Certified, Especially Given The Confirmed And Illegal Activities Engaged By The Government Of Russia.” (CNN, 1/6/17)
- Raul Grijalva Objected After North Carolina’s Tally. (CNN, 1/6/17)
- Pramila Jayapal Objected To Georgia’s Vote Certificate. (CNN, 1/6/17)
- Jamie Raskin Objected To 10 Of Florida’s 29 Electoral Votes, Saying “They Violated Florida’s Prohibition Against Dual Office Holders.” (CNN, 1/6/17)
- Maxine Waters Objected. (CNN, 1/6/17)