U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) issued the following statement today regarding members of Congress objecting to the Electoral College votes when they are counted on January 6:
“Some of my colleagues recently announced they will object to the Electoral College results on January 6 when the votes are counted during a Joint Session of Congress. This is not unprecedented. Democratic members made objections in 2016 and both times President George W. Bush won. With President Trump, they kept their efforts going, promulgating a fruitless $40 million Special Counsel investigation to try to delegitimize his presidency and ultimately impeaching him simply because they lost the election. Democrats and the media have no business crying foul after all the stunts they have pulled.
“I share the concerns of my colleagues and the countless North Dakotans who have reached out about the election. Last year Democrats tried to use the COVID-19 pandemic to implement questionable election procedures like universal vote-by-mail, ballot harvesting, and ballot curing. These practices – and the subsequent lack of transparency in places like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia – have raised reasonable questions about the elections process which need to be addressed, regardless of whether or not it is enough to change the outcome of the presidential election.
“When Republicans raised such concerns before November, we were falsely portrayed as discouraging voter participation. We need to get answers while taking appropriate steps to ensure states run their elections in a transparent, trustworthy fashion, giving the American people confidence in our elections. This could start by launching an independent commission tasked with examining the 2020 election and offering analysis and potential changes.
“But solutions for future elections will not rectify the alleged problems of past ones. While I share the concerns of those who plan to object, the Founding Fathers did not design a system where the federal legislative branch could reject a state’s certified choice for President in favor of their own. They created the Electoral College – and gave state legislatures the authority to decide how electors are chosen – to ensure small states like North Dakota have a voice at the national level that cannot be silenced by large states like New York and California, and the opposite is also true. I do not have the authority to overturn the will of other states on behalf of North Dakota, nor do other members have the ability to overturn the will of my state. As has been true since the election was held, the viable option for the President to obtain the remedy he seeks is through the federal judiciary.
“In light of these concerns, I will not object to the Electoral College votes when they are counted, and – unless overwhelmingly persuasive evidence is presented before the Senate when we debate the objections – I will not vote to reject the results.
“This is not a vote I take lightly. I have received overwhelming outreach from my constituents urging me to object and carefully weighed the arguments being made. I hear them and understand their perspective, but as with every other important vote, this is first and foremost a matter of conscience; and I cannot in good conscience cast a vote to disenfranchise millions of Americans by overturning the Electoral College results in these states without sufficient evidence or clear constitutional authority.
“It is disappointing this vote has become the exclusive litmus test for whether or not a member of Congress stands with President Trump. One would have a hard time finding a more fervent, consistent, longstanding supporter of this president than I have been since he first announced his candidacy. I worked as hard as I could in both elections to help him win, advocated for his agenda in Congress every step of the way, and raised over $200,000 to assist his legal efforts. While I am not pleased with the outcome of the election, objecting to the Electoral College votes is not an appropriate or effective way to change the results.”