Republican leaders in 4 key U.S. states quash Trump’s voter change bid

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Republican leaders from four critical states won by US President-elect Joe Biden have said they will not participate in a legally dubious ploy to turn voters in their state to vote for President Donald Trump. Their comments effectively ended a half-baked plot some Republicans have launched as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House.Republican lawmakers in the states of Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they will not interfere in the selection of voters, who ultimately voted to secure a candidate’s victory. Such a move would violate state law and a popular vote, several noted.

“I don’t see, unless I find some type of fraud – that I haven’t heard of anything about – I don’t see us seriously approaching a voter change,” said Rusty Bowers, president of the Republican. House of Arizona said it had been inundated with emails asking the legislature to intervene.

“They are mandated by law to choose according to the vote of the people. ”

The idea loosely implies that Republican-controlled legislatures reject Biden’s popular votes in their states and choose to select Trump’s voters. While the end of the game is unclear, it seems to hinge on the hope that a conservative-leaning US Supreme Court would settle any disputes over that decision.

Arizona Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers, right, is pictured in May during a vote in the Arizona House of Representatives. Bowers said there was no “serious way” for State Republicans to change voters who would choose the US president after the general election in order to secure the White House to Donald Trump. (Ross D. Franklin / The Associated Press)

Yet he has been promoted by Trump allies, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and is an example of misleading information and false allegations fueling skepticism among Trump supporters about the integrity of the vote.

The theory is rooted in the fact that the US Constitution grants state legislatures the power to decide how voters are chosen. Every state has already passed laws that delegate this power to voters and nominate voters for the candidate who wins the state on election day. The only possibility for a state legislature to subsequently engage with voters is a provision in federal law allowing it if the actual election “fails.”

If the outcome of the election was not clear in mid-December, the voter nomination deadline, Republican-controlled legislatures in those states could declare Trump won and nominate voters supporting him. Or so the theory goes.

The election result is perfectly clear

The problem, lawyers note, is that the outcome of the election is by no means unclear. Biden won all of the states involved. It’s hard to argue that the election “failed” when Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security said they had not been tampered with and were “the safest in American history.” There was no discovery of fraud or widespread problems in the vote count, showing Biden leading Trump by more than five million votes nationwide.

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Trump’s campaign and his allies have filed lawsuits aimed at delaying certification and potentially providing evidence of failed elections. But so far Trump and the Republicans have had little success – at least 10 of the lawsuits have been dismissed by the courts within 10 days of the election. The most important ones who remain are asking the courts to prevent Michigan and Pennsylvania from certifying Biden as the winner of their elections.

But legal experts say it’s impossible for courts to ultimately stop those states from appointing voters before the December deadline.

“It would take the most unwarranted and bizarre court intervention this country has ever seen,” said Danielle Lang of the Campaign Legal Center. “I haven’t seen anything in any of these trials that has any merit – let alone enough to delay the nomination of voters. “

Electoral Count Act

Even if Trump wins a single court battle, there is another potential hurdle: Congress could be the final arbiter of whether or not to accept contested voters lists, according to the 1887 Electoral Tally Act, the law. describing the process. Ultimately, if the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate could not agree on which voters to accept, and there was neither a vote nor a winner, the presidency would pass to the person. following in the line of succession at the end of Trump and the tenure of US Vice President Mike Pence on January 20. It would be the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat.

“If it’s a strategy, I don’t think it will be successful,” said Edward Foley, professor of constitutional law at Ohio State University. “I think we’re in the realm of fantasy here. ”

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But unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and corruption have been circulating widely in conservative circles since Biden won the election. Asked this week whether state lawmakers should invalidate the official results, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “Everything should be on the table.”

DeSantis urged residents of Pennsylvania and Michigan to call on state lawmakers and urge them to intervene. “Under article 2 of the Constitution, presidential voters are elected by the legislatures, the projects they create and the framework. And if there is a deviation from that, if they don’t respect the law, if they ignore the law, they can provide remedies as well, ”he said.

Republican lawmakers, however, appear to be holding steady.

“The Pennsylvania General Assembly does not have and will not have a hand in choosing the state’s presidential voters or deciding the outcome of the presidential election,” key Republican legislative leaders wrote, Senator Jake Corman and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, in an October Editorial. Their offices said on Friday they were upholding the statement.

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Wisconsin Republican Assembly Leader Robin Vos has long rejected the idea, and his spokesman Kit Beyer said he maintained that position on Thursday.

In Michigan, legislative leaders say any intervention would be against state law. Even as the Republican-controlled legislature investigates the election, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told WJR radio station on Friday: “We don’t expect our analysis to result in a change in the result. “

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