By | Rachel Brooks
January 4, 2021
Update: On January 6, the March for Trump, which took place at the scene of the Congressional legal objection contest of the electoral votes that were in question of voter fraud and irregularity, turned to an act of violence. One woman was fatally shot in the mix of the chaos. This is a developing story.
More House Reps and Senators continue to join the electoral vote objection which will be cast on January 6. Here’s a brief look at the legal grounds, historical context, and process by which they can do this.
American politics are rife with conflict. With the process of processing the American presidential election of 2020, tensions have been at an all-time high. The future of the American presidency now hinges upon the Congressional vote of January 6.
Under American law, the lawmakers meet for the final time on January 6 to vote to either accept the electoral votes of each state or to nullify those that were cast under suspicion of fraud or voting irregularity. In the case of the 2020 election cycle, anecdotal evidence was abundant as well as what appeared to be concrete evidence that the election systems were rigged with fractional software. Likewise, information surfaced strongly suggesting that the Chinese Communist Party and cyber actors in Iran may have accessed the Smartmatic voting system. This would have given these foreign parties access to change the results of the tally, as well as the ability to compromise the integrity of the American legal system.
The evidence and allegations of voting fraud was presented judiciarily by the lawsuits of the Trump campaign and by the lawsuit, filed in the State of Georgia, by Sidney Powell, a federal attorney famous for representing General Michael Flynn. Access the lawsuit and all presented evidence here.
On November 3, it appeared that Donald Trump had won his presidential election bid, until that evening when a large tally of votes switched in what appeared as sudden favor to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. From that date, the Donald Trump campaign pursued legal action that was largely shot down in court. On December 14, the U.S. electoral college voted to certify the election of Joe Biden despite the contest that the results of state elections were the result of a fraudulent tally.
The question of election fraud
There is no shortage of evidence for the election fraud issue in the 2020 election cycle. The issue is determining which of this evidence is merely anecdotal and which of it is “damning proof” that the electoral college vote for Joe Biden in various swing states was determined under illegitimate circumstances.
The Heritage Foundation conducted a full-scale report regarding election fraud in the United States.
This report can be used as a fulcrum to scale and make sense of the many allegations of election fraud in the 2020 presidential cycle.
The Heritage Foundation documented 1,071 proven instances of voter fraud, 938 criminal convictions, 43 civil penalties, 74 diversion programs, eight judicial findings, and eight official findings in the course of recent history.
The Heritage Foundation defined the types of voter fraud cases documented in U.S. election cycles as follows:
IMPERSONATION FRAUD AT THE POLLS: Voting in the name of other legitimate voters and voters who have died, moved away or lost their right to vote because they are felons, but remain registered.
FALSE REGISTRATIONS: Voting under fraudulent voter registrations that either use a phony name and a real or fake address or claim residence in a particular jurisdiction where the registered voter does not actually live and is not entitled to vote.
DUPLICATE VOTING: Registering in multiple locations and voting in the same election in more than one jurisdiction or state.
FRAUDULENT USE OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS: Requesting absentee ballots and voting without the knowledge of the actual voter, or obtaining the absentee ballot from a voter and either filling it indirectly and forging the voter’s signature or illegally telling the voter who to vote for.
BUYING VOTES: Paying voters to cast either an in-person or absentee ballot for a particular candidate.
ILLEGAL “ASSISTANCE” AT THE POLLS: Forcing or intimidating voters—particularly the elderly, disabled, illiterate, and those for whom English is a second language—to vote for particular candidates while supposedly providing them with “assistance.”
INELIGIBLE VOTING: Illegal registration and voting by individuals who are not U.S. citizens, are convicted felons, or are otherwise not eligible to vote.
ALTERING THE VOTE COUNT: Changing the actual vote count either in a precinct or at the central location where votes are counted. BALLOT PETITION FRAUD: Forging the signatures of registered voters on the ballot petitions that must be filed with election officials in some states for a candidate or issue to be listed on the official ballot
In addition to this summary of recent samplings of voter fraud cases, The Heritage Foundation has compiled a database per U.S. state for reviewing cases where voter fraud was detected within recent historic political cycles.
The swing states that are in question show a series of criminal convictions for voters who were ineligible as of the 2018 election cycle. Other cases of recent voter fraud in the United States include duplicate voting and false registrations. For example, The Heritage Foundation documents a case in 2015 in Wisconsin where a voter falsely registered to vote using an incorrect mailing address.
This documented pattern of voting fraud methods gives some backing to the claims of the Trump campaign legal team as well as the federal legal team contesting the 2020 election. However, past proven cases can only show a pattern of how these crimes are conducted and not concrete evidence of those crimes committed in 2020.
The process of the contest
As legal cases were bounced in and out of the American judicial system, U.S. lawmakers decided to join in favor of the opposition. Following the electoral college vote on December 14, U.S. House representatives and Senators of the Republican party have formed a coalition of commitment and decided to vote in opposition of the election of Joe Biden. This vote is being cast because several states violated their state constitutions in the process of vote collection.
Ted Cruz, the Republican Senator of Texas, has led the coalition of Republicans in an opposition vote. Senator Cruz and colleagues released a joint statement on January 2, 2021, laying out the reasons and legal grounds for the opposition. It proceeds in its entirety as follows:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Senators-Elect Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) issued the following statement in advance of the Electoral College certification process on January 6, 2021:
“America is a Republic whose leaders are chosen in democratic elections. Those elections, in turn, must comply with the Constitution and with federal and state law.
“When the voters fairly decide an election, pursuant to the rule of law, the losing candidate should acknowledge and respect the legitimacy of that election. And, if the voters choose to elect a new office-holder, our Nation should have a peaceful transfer of power.
“The election of 2020, like the election of 2016, was hard-fought and, in many swing states, narrowly decided. The 2020 election, however, featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities.
“Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes.
“And those allegations are not believed just by one individual candidate. Instead, they are widespread. Reuters/Ipsos polling, tragically, shows that 39% of Americans believe ‘the election was rigged.’ That belief is held by Republicans (67%), Democrats (17%), and Independents (31%).
“Some Members of Congress disagree with that assessment, as do many members of the media.
“But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations.
“Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud. Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.
“On January 6, it is incumbent on Congress to vote on whether to certify the 2020 election results. That vote is the lone constitutional power remaining to consider and force resolution of the multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.
“At that quadrennial joint session, there is a long precedent of Democratic Members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017. And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged.
“The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states-Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina-were alleged to have been conducted illegally.
“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply dismiss those raising them as radicals trying to undermine democracy. Instead, Congress appointed an Electoral Commission consisting of five Senators, five House Members, and five Supreme Court Justices-to consider and resolve the disputed returns.
“We should follow that precedent. To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed.
“Accordingly, we intend to vote on January 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed.
“We are not naïve. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise. But the support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue. A fair and credible audit-conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20-would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next President. We owe that to the People.
“These are matters worthy of the Congress and entrusted to us to defend. We do not take this action lightly. We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it. And every one of us should act together to ensure that the election was lawfully conducted under the Constitution and to do everything we can to restore faith in our Democracy.”
The historical context of elections decided in the House
There are historical examples of elections that were ultimately decided by the House of Representatives in the United States. The election of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson is one such example. The House voted to elect Adams, even though Andrew Jackson received more votes in the popular vote because neither contestant had received the majority of electoral votes needed to make the decision based on the electoral college, see History.com for more.
While it is less common, presidential elections can be contested up until the House votes. Donald Trump, therefore, has legal grounds for his contest. However, there is a question of ethics surrounding his contest that has sent shockwaves through American politics in recent days.
Many political aspects are layering the Congressional hearing of the 2020 presidential election results. At the core of this political banter is the question of the mainstream press.
The media has spearheaded the political dispute over American politics for the entirety of the Trump administration, and in his last contest for a 2021-2024 presidential bid, the media has a special stake. The contest of the election was in a sense a contest of the credibility of the mainstream media, which would have been in question in the event of the contest’s success, as the western press has reported the election process with a slant against the final voting day by the Congress, calling the decision by Senators to vote in opposition to the Electoral College vote and “act of sedition.” This is despite the facts of formerly contested elections resolved in the House.
While there are legal protections for protesting American elections, Donald Trump has been accused by the Democratic party of attempting an act of sedition. This was because the majority of the lawsuits in his favors were tossed out of the state and Senate Supreme Courts where they were filed, and the certification of the electoral college vote was approved anyway.
Because Trump continues to fight the case judicially, rather than wait for the vote of the Congress, his opposition claims that he is attempting to manipulate the legal powers he had to contest the current election results. Trump likewise has acted in a manner that has made the public question his ethics, by allegedly being recorded calling the Georgia Secretary of State and demanding find missing ballots from the Georgia election, as was reported by The New York Times. This was seen by some in the public as an act of political pressuring on Trump’s part, which was regarded by some as an abuse of power.
On January 6, a massive rally will be held in Washington, D.C. for Trump’s supporters to stand and publicly protest while the House decided the final results of the 2020 election, and whether the abundance of voting irregularity and voting fraud evidence is legitimate and grounds to nullify the electoral college’s votes for Joe Biden. This is called the March For Trump. Details of the march were reported by The Epoch Times.
Added to the list of ethics debates, Donald Trump’s speech at the March for Trump rally was regarded as a direct incitement of the violence of January 6. This is a developing story.