‘This is madness’: Romney lashes out at Republicans threatening to protest Electoral College vote

Joe Biden’s popular vote lead has grown to over 7 million, and results confirming his win have been certified by states, including key battlegrounds

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 09 December 2020 16:30
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Mitt Romney has torn into fellow Republicans threatening to disrupt the Electoral College vote confirming Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election.

The Utah senator said: “This is madness. We have a process, recounts are appropriate, going to the court is appropriate, and pursuing every legal avenue is appropriate, but trying to get electors not to do what the people voted to do is madness.”

Senator Romney’s comments were first reported by NBC News reporter Frank Thorp V, as Donald Trump’s campaign and supporters in the party continue to attempt legal action in battleground states to try and overturn the 2020 election results.

He continued: “It would be saying, 'Look, let's not follow the vote of the people, let's instead do what we want’. That would not be the way a democratic republic ought to work.”

Asked if he was very confident that anything like that would be rejected, Mr Romney replied, yes.

President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the election four days after polls closed on 3 November, after it became clear that there was no longer any credible path to victory for the Trump campaign.

Since then, Mr Biden’s popular vote lead has grown to more than 7 million, and results confirming his win have been certified by states, including key battlegrounds, handing him the requisite 270 electoral college votes.

Mr Trump still refuses to concede.

Nevertheless, allies of the president continue to seek ways to overturn the election results. An attempt by Pennsylvania state legislators to block their state’s certification of results was rejected by the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a withering one-sentence denial, that implied there was no dissent from any of the nine justices.

Two more lawsuits contesting the results are pending before the Supreme Court. One challenges an extension to the deadline for accepting mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, which relates to only a few thousand votes.

The second is a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, suing the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Mr Paxton argues that their pandemic-era changes to election procedures violate federal law. He is asking the court to block them from voting in the Electoral College and extend the deadline for the vote to allow for an investigation.

The Texas case has been described by attorneys general in Wisconsin and Michigan as an “attack on our democracy” and “a publicity stunt, not a serious legal pleading” filled with “false and irresponsible” allegations.

Mr Trump praised Mr Paxton for “courage and brilliance!” in response to a tweet proclaiming “God Bless Texas” and a link to a story on the filing.

Tuesday was also the “safe harbour” deadline – those results in those states that have certified by then must be accepted by Congress. While states do not have to have certified by 8 December, enough have already to confirm the Biden win.

The Electoral College votes on 14 December. On 6 January, Vice President Mike Pence will preside over a joint session of Congress to finalise the vote if there are no objections in writing.

Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama has said he will contest the results, winning praise from the president.

Mr Brooks falsely suggested in an interview that mail-in voting is unconstitutional and that the election was stolen by socialists. He would require a member of the Senate to join him in his challenge to the results.

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