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Challenge to the Electoral College

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 6, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. SINEMA. Thank you, Mr. President.

I rise today to share the facts about Arizona's recent election and to urge my colleagues to step away from divisive political rhetoric and step towards renewing Americans' faith in our democracy.

The 2020 Arizona election was a success, not for any one party or individual but as a demonstration of the will of the voters. A record 80 percent of registered voters participated, thanks to local Arizona election officials who ensured our system worked and our laws were upheld. Arizona has offered early voting for more than 100 years, and our vote-by-mail system includes strict safeguards. All ballots include tracking mechanisms and tamper-resistant envelopes. Election staff are trained to authentic signatures. And Arizona imposes severe criminal punishments for ballot tampering.

The Arizona election produced bipartisan results in which members of both parties won races, and these results have been confirmed by stakeholders across the political spectrum.

The Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said:

No matter how you voted, this election was administered with integrity, transparency, and . . . in accordance with Arizona State laws.

The Republican speaker of the Arizona State House rejected calls for the legislature to overturn the election, saying:

As a conservative Republican, I don't like the results of the presidential election . . . but I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome.

Eight challenges contesting the Arizona election were brought to Federal and State courts. All eight were withdrawn or dismissed, including a unanimous ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court. The chief justice wrote:

[The] challenge fails to present any evidence of ``misconduct,'' [or] ``illegal votes'' . . . let alone establish any degree of fraud or a sufficient error rate that would undermine the certainty of the election results.

During a recent committee hearing, I asked a simple question of the former Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security: Did he find any evidence disputing the integrity or fairness of Arizona's election? His answer was simple: ``No.''

Arizona and our 15 counties should be congratulated for running a secure election. Perhaps the most heartening demonstration of Arizona's election success is Jocelyn from Phoenix. Jocelyn is 18 years old and was a first-time voter in 2020. So was Rachel from Tucson and thousand more Arizonans who for the first time exercised their constitutional right to decide their own leaders. Today's challenge to Arizona's election fails any factual analysis. More disturbingly, it seeks to rob Jocelyn and Rachel and more than 3 million Arizonans of a free, fair election.

Those of us who are trusted with elected office are first and foremost public servants. We serve our constituents. We do not seek to substitute our personal ambitions for the will of the American people. Our system allows for a continuous contest of ideas. And those voters who support the losing side of a free, fair election have not been disenfranchised; rather, they maintain just as important a voice in America's future. Leaders have a duty to serve all of our constituents, including those who voted for other candidates.

Great leaders in our history faced the choice of whether to take an action strengthening our democracy even if a different action would better serve their political ambitions. Many are revered today because they chose our Republic over their self-interests, including my personal hero, Senator John McCain. Following his Presidential loss, Senator McCain said:

The American people have spoken . . . Senator Obama and I have . . . argued our differences, and he has prevailed. . . . Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans.

He spoke to the nearly 60 million Americans who voted for him, saying:

It is natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

Senator McCain was right.

Today we have serious, significant work to do beating this pandemic and reviving our economy. I urge my colleagues to follow the example of Senator John McCain and so many others, reject this meritless challenge, and uphold the will of Arizona's voters.

Thank you.