Chris Jacobs reverses position on validity of election results
Rep. Chris Jacobs, who previously issued a statement rejecting an attempt to overturn the presidential election, today said he will object to certification of the Electoral College results.
When Texas filed a lawsuit attempting to invalidate election results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, Jacobs said he would not sign onto the effort because he respected federalism and states' rights.
Today, in a statement, Jacobs contradicted that stance saying, “There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates."
There have been multiple lawsuits contesting changes in state voting procedures in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. All of them have been rejected by their respective courts, primarily because the plaintiffs did not file their lawsuits prior to the election but instead waited until after residents in these respective states voted in good faith under the guidance provided by state officials.
States such as Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas -- states Trump won -- also made accommodations for voting during the coronavirus pandemic but Republicans are not contesting the results in those states.
Jacobs said disputes over the election have not been adjudicated; however, 59 lawsuits have been thrown out by state and federal courts either because of timeliness or lack of evidence, including two that reached the Supreme Court. The current composition of the court includes a majority six Republican-nominated justices, including three appointed by Trump.
Today, both bodies of Congress are meeting in joint session to open and tally the electoral college votes, which have been certified by states, giving Joe Biden a 306 to 232 vote victory. Jacobs will not be the only Republican refusing to accept the results of the election. Several senators and other House members are joining in.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been a strong ally of the president over the past four years, criticized that effort in a floor speech today.
“Voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken — they’ve all spoken,” McConnell said. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever.”
In opposing Biden's victory, Jacobs breaks with fellow Republican from the Southern Tier, Tom Reed.
"It is clear to me that the U.S. Constitution calls upon our elections for president to be done at the state level, and that if there are issues of fraud, if there are issues of whether or not those elections are carried out lawfully, they are to be adjudicated at the state level," Reed said. "No state legislature has asked us to intervene in Congress in this process, and that being said, I will not be objecting to the state electors tomorrow, based upon my commitment to the U.S. Constitution."
Here is the full statement from Jacobs:
Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement regarding the objections to the certification of the Electoral College.
“There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates.
This troubling fact, along with countless reports of election irregularities, has left many Americans with valid concerns about the integrity of the November 3rd presidential election because these concerns have yet to be properly adjudicated.
“I have a duty to represent my constituents and a constitutional duty to ensure the security and integrity of our elections. I do not take this decision lightly, but for these reasons feel it necessary to object to the certification of the electoral votes from contested states.
“The American people must have confidence in their elections, and I intend to work to restore that trust. As such, I will support efforts to achieve a full review of the actions taken by states that have led to the widespread distrust that now exists. I feel it is imperative to allow for this crucial national conversation to be debated in public on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.