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Sen. Josh Hawley will join Trump-backed effort and object to Electoral College count

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley announced Wednesday he would join GOP House members and object to Electoral College vote counts when Congress meets January 6 to finalize President-elect Joe Biden‘s win. 

President Donald Trump has been pressuring GOP senators to join the effort, which could delay announcing the final result for hours. 

Hawley said in a statement that he believed states, pointing a finger at Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own election laws and companies, like Twitter and Facebook, ‘interfere[d]’ in the election, by supporting Biden.

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said Wednesday he will join a handful of House Republicans who plan to object to the Electoral College vote counts in key swing states, which could delay Congress certifying the election of President-elect Joe Biden 

Sen. Josh Hawley outlined his reason for joining the effort in a statement sent out Wednesday. He called out Congress for not investigating alleged 'voter fraud,' and said Facebook and Twitter 'interfere[d]' in the election by having a pro-Joe Biden bias

Sen. Josh Hawley outlined his reason for joining the effort in a statement sent out Wednesday. He called out Congress for not investigating alleged ‘voter fraud,’ and said Facebook and Twitter ‘interfere[d]’ in the election by having a pro-Joe Biden bias 

President Donald Trump has been pressuring Republican senators to object to states' Electoral College vote counts, as a senator and a House member have to sign on for there to be a debate and a vote. Depending on how many states Republicans object to, it could hold up certifying the election for Joe Biden for hours

President Donald Trump has been pressuring Republican senators to object to states’ Electoral College vote counts, as a senator and a House member have to sign on for there to be a debate and a vote. Depending on how many states Republicans object to, it could hold up certifying the election for Joe Biden for hours  

He also blasted Congress for refusing to investigate ‘allegations of voter fraud.’  

‘For these reasons, I will follow the same Democrat members of Congress have in years past and object during the certification process on January 6 to raise these critical issues,’ Hawley explained. 

Next Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence will preside over a meeting of Congress when the results of the Electoral College vote are read and tallied. 

It’s generally a formality, but as Hawley pointed out, Democrats did object to certain states’ vote counts, including in 2016 and in 2004. 

In order for challenges to be debated, both a House member and a senator have to sign on to an objection. 

House Democrats raised concerns in 2016 over state tallies in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi and the Carolinas, however no Democratic senator joined the effort. 

Biden, at the time serving as vice president, gaveled down the protests because they weren’t joined by a senator. 

In 2004, then California Sen. Barbara Boxer objected alongside several House Democrats to Ohio’s results citing ‘numerous, serious election irregularities’ that led to a ‘a significant disenfranchisement of voters.’  

At the time, CNN reported that the Democrats made their move to gain support for future election reform – not because they thought it would actually overturn the results of the election, which was won by Republican President George W. Bush. 

Unlike Trump, who will applaud the effort, John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee, put out a statement saying he would not take part in the protest.  

Once Hawley and House Republicans object to a state’s vote count, lawmakers will go back to their respective chambers and discuss the merits of the objection for two hours. 

Only a majority vote is needed to overrule the objections. 

With the Democrats controlling the House and several Republicans in the Senate publicly saying that the election is over – and Biden is the winner – Hawley’s objection will trigger a delay, but not flip the results to Trump.   

Trump, however, has refused to concede the election to Biden and continued to rant about widespread voter fraud, of which there is no evidence, on Wednesday during his Florida vacation to Mar-a-Lago. 

Prior to Hawley’s announcement, Trump had been pressuring incoming Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville to register objections on January 6. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked senators not to engage because they’d be forced to go on the record and by voting in favor of Biden’s win, could be in danger of being taken down by pro-Trump forces within the Republican Party. 

On December 15, the day after the Electoral College met, McConnell came on the Senate floor and congratulated Biden as president-elect.  


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