If Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. follows through with his intent to raise a Senate objection to Joe Biden’s electoral vote win, it will be a first for Republicans.
“Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard. I will object on January 6 on their behalf”
Somebody has to stand up. 74 million Americans are not going to be told their voices don’t matter
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 31, 2020
Though Congressional Democrats objected to every Republican won presidential certification after 1988, and actually delayed the certification of George W. Bush in 2005, Republicans have never used this power over elections until now.
After the 2016 election, several House Democrats registered challenges against Mr. Trump’s victory. CBS reported in January 2017 that the second-ranking House Democrat, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, “would support an effort to challenge the certification of the votes that will formally put Trump in the White House.”
Hoyer stated, “It’s based upon the Russian interference in the election….there’s no disagreement in the intelligence community.”
House Democrats tried to challenge the 2000 and 2016 outcomes without Senate support. But in 2006 Senator Barbara Boxer of California briefly delayed the certification of George W. Bush’s victory by claiming that Ohio election officials had improperly purged voter rolls. Nancy Pelosi, then the House Democratic leader, supported the challenge.
Boxer stated “We cannot keep turning our eyes away from a flawed system, particularly as we have people dying in Iraq every day to bring democracy to those people.” and “We have spent our lives fighting for things were believe in,” Boxer told reporters. “Now we must add a new fight, the fight for electoral justice. Every citizen should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”
But conveniently, Democrats like Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy easily forget their party’s history. “You cannot, at the same time, love America and hate democracy. But…a whole lot of flag-waving Republicans are nakedly trying to invalidate millions of legal votes because that is the only way that they can make Donald Trump president again.”
One current senator voted to outright reject Ohio electoral votes in early 2005 was then-Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. He was among 31 House members at the time to vote in favor of rejecting Ohio’s electoral slate.
Markey on MSNB, however, said Hawley’s challenge “is just an extension of what Donald Trump is trying to perpetrate as a fraud on the American people” and “there is no basis for any questioning of Joe Biden as our next president.”
Since 1887, 3 U.S.C. 15 (U.S. Code) has set the method for objections by Members of Congress to electoral votes. During the Joint Session, lawmakers may object to individual electoral votes or to state returns as a whole. An objection must be declared in writing and signed by at least one Representative and one Senator. In the case of an objection, the Joint Session recesses and each chamber considers the objection separately for no more than two hours; each Member may speak for five minutes or less. After each house votes on whether to accept the objection, the Joint Session reconvenes and both chambers disclose their decisions. If both chambers agree to the objection, the electoral votes in question are not counted. If either chamber opposes the objection, the votes are counted.