Start a commission against electoral fraud or we won’t certify election results, say Ted Cruz and 10 other Republican senators

US Senator Ted Cruz and 10 other Republicans have announced their intention to raise objections to the formalization of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, staging a potentially endless political showdown to certify the outcome.

“Whatever the measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our life,” Cruz and his allies said on Saturday, in a joint statement. They called for an election commission to be appointed immediately to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of voting results in the states that were contested.

Cruz, who is from Texas, is joined in the dispute by Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), Steve Daines (R-Montana), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Marsha Blackburn ( R-Tennessee) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana), as well as elected Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama). Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) had previously said he would raise an objection to voter certification, which is expected to take place when Congress meets on Jan.6.

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While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) had hoped to avoid a political scuffle with Republicans seen as resisting the will of voters, the Cruz-led group argued that after the court Supreme and other courts have refused to examine the merits of the election – allegations of fraud, it is the responsibility of Congress to help restore confidence in the American democratic process. Biden is expected to take office, replacing Republican Donald Trump, on January 20.

“A fair and credible audit – conducted swiftly and completed well before January 20 – would dramatically improve Americans’ confidence in our electoral process and greatly enhance the legitimacy of who will become our next president.” said the Republican group.

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Senators cited polls showing that 39% of Americans, including 31% of registered independent voters, believe the election result was fraudulent. They also pointed out that when election objections have been raised on numerous occasions in the past – from 1877 to 2017 – the allegations have not been dismissed by the media or presented as “Radicals trying to undermine democracy”.

“Whether our elected officials or our journalists believe it or not, this deep mistrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear.” said the group. “This should concern us all and it poses a permanent threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administration. “

Once the emergency audit is complete, the contested states would assess the commission’s findings and convene special legislative sessions to certify or change their voting results, the statement said.

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At a minimum, Senate objections would likely lead to a contentious certification process. If both a senator and a member of the chamber disagree with an individual state’s election result, both chambers debate and vote on whether the challenge is upheld.

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“We are not naive”, said the group led by Cruz. “We fully expect most, if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But supporting electoral integrity shouldn’t be a partisan issue. “

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