EDITORIAL: GOP Congresspeople, Tell The American People The Truth

Angelina Astic, Copy Editor

Eight Senators and 147 Representatives. That count corresponds to the Republican Congresspeople who chose to use their votes to overturn the results of the U.S. presidential election. In a time of such deep political division, these congresspeople made the decision to continue to lie to the American people, an inexcusable action on their part. 

On that infamous day that the American people shall forever remember as one of the darkest days in this nation’s history, pro-Trump rioters stormed Capitol hill, demanding that the electorates call the election in favor of President Donald Trump. The truth of the matter is this: the Electoral College simply certifies the election results, as the process of overturning a vote can become an extremely lengthy one. 

According to the Associated Press, President-Elect Joseph Biden won the election with a total of 306 electoral votes, while Trump received 206 electoral votes. Biden’s win, officially secured on Dec. 8, 2020, the Electoral College’s “safe harbor” deadline, came as each state certified their results for the U.S.. After receiving over the 270 votes necessary to become President, those results were sent to Congress for certification via the Electoral College. 

Results can be challenged, something seen time and time again during the Electoral College count. Under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, established as a result of the 1876 presidential election between President Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden, a member of the House of Representatives and a member of the Senate can co-sign a document stating an objection to a specific state’s electoral votes and present the objection to the Vice President during their reading of a specific state’s results. If the objection follows the requirements, the House of Representatives and Senate must both leave the count to debate and reconvene after a maximum of two hours to pursue or reject the objection presented. In order for the objection to hold, a majority of the House must vote “yes.” 

From a legal standpoint, Congress could potentially overturn an election result, however, that has never happened before, establishing the precedent that avoids any undermining of any future election. In order to do so, the above process must be repeated a series of times to disqualify the necessary votes that a candidate needs to obtain the 270 electoral votes necessary to win. Afterwards, the House of Representatives, which currently has a democratic majority, under Article II Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, would advance to vote to elect the next U.S. President. To reiterate, no candidate who has ever won enough electoral votes has ever had Congress overturn the results. 

I provide all the information above, not to bore, but to simply prove that the election’s results, which reflect the wishes of the majority of the people, would not be overturned by the Electoral College. The baseless claims of widespread election fraud that could easily overturn the results of the election, provided by many members of Congress, are not only false, but dangerous. 

After the insurrection at the Capitol, the members of Congress, bound by their oath of office to support and defend the Constitution, had an opportunity to do so. Members courageous enough to fulfill that oath and to vote differently than they had initially intended, seeing that they must certify the results of the election, are admirable. Those who did not, I respectfully ask whether your loyalty lies with the president or with your country. 

Former Republican presidential candidate and Senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, provided a perspective that many have never had. After losing the 2012 presidential election to President Barack Obama, Romney continued his career of public service and reflected on his loss on the floor of the Senate. He provided some key advice to those insistent on overturning the election by stating that no congressional audit could convince those who believe that the election was stolen that it was not. He added that a way for the Congresspeople to show respect for the voters upset with the results would be by telling them the truth. 

In times like these, our leaders must place country over party, duty over ambition, and truth over lies. Congresspeople, the American people deserved to hear the truth from you. You have the power to influence millions. Please choose the truth, it could become one of the most important decisions you have ever made.