Congress members from Georgia prepare to challenge Electoral College vote

WASHINGTON — Five Republican U.S. House members from Georgia, in addition to U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, said they will object to tallying the Electoral College votes from their state and others when Congress gathers in joint session Wednesday.

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The state’s longest-serving GOP lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton, has taken the opposite stance. He joined a dozen other Republicans in the House to pen a letter questioning both the legality and logic behind refusing to accept election results in states won by Democrat Joe Biden.

These lawmakers said the electoral votes submitted by every state should be honored because it is not the role of Congress to referee election disputes.

“To take action otherwise — that is, to unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process — would amount to stealing power from the people and the states,” said the letter signed by Scott and the others.

Still, at least half of all Republicans in the House and at least a dozen in the Senate said their concerns about the general election outcome in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin warrant these challenges.

The lawmakers from Georgia who said they will join the objections are recently elected U.S. Reps. Andrew Clyde of Athens and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Rome, as well as U.S. Reps. Rick Allen of Evans, Barry Loudermilk of Cassville and Jody Hice of Greensboro.

“I REFUSE to certify fraudulent electoral votes for Joe Biden,” Greene wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “That’s why I will #FightForTrump and OBJECT tomorrow in Congress!”

Allen tweeted: “Fighting to make sure every legal vote is counted, Mr. President! We will #HoldTheLine!”

Although there has been no proof of fraud or mismanagement in swing states won by Biden, and dozens of legal challenges filed by Trump and his allies were unsuccessful, many loyalists have sided with the president in his efforts to overturn the election.

These objections are unlikely to prevail ultimately. The contested states’ Electoral College votes are expected to be accepted and counted, but it will take time to debate and conduct procedural votes before that can happen. This will draw out what is normally a routine and low-drama process.

Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the joint session, but as electoral votes are read aloud, the process can be halted if at least one member from each chamber objects to a state’s tally. Once that happens, the House and Senate will meet separately for up to two hours of debate before taking a vote on whether to accept or reject the state’s votes.

Then, the chambers will return to joint session to continue down the list.

Democrats in both chambers, plus at least half the GOP delegation in the House and a larger number in the Senate are expected to oppose each challenge. Newly sworn in U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Suwanee, said she will make her first speech on the House floor in favor of accepting Georgia’s 16 electoral votes for Biden.

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, said he also plans to defend Georgia’s electors during the debate.

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