Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) released the following statement announcing his intention to oppose objections to the Electoral College certification:
"Each state conducts its election for President in a different manner, which has led to confusion and misunderstanding among the public. In the past, this system has generally worked. However, this year when the COVID-19 pandemic was added into this mix of 50 different election systems, it demonstrated the need for a more uniform voting process among the states.
In an effort to accommodate voters due to this health care crisis, state election officials, county officials, Governors, and courts circumvented state legislatures and unilaterally modified election procedures contrary to state laws and the U.S. Constitution. They failed to install safeguards to ensure only legitimate votes were counted.
Consequently, I am outraged that these state legislatures abrogated their Constitutional authorities by allowing other officials to rewrite election laws. The legislatures failed to ensure a fair and transparent process that would renew the confidence of the American public. Now they are relying on Congress to step in and mediate.
What authority does Congress have? Having read Article II and the 10th and 12th Amendments to the Constitution, as well as Federalist Paper Number 68, it is clear Congress has no role to object to the states' election results once they are certified. Therefore, I am compelled to vote against the proposed objections.
Any problems with the election in these states should have been addressed prior to certification. The proper venue for this dispute is in the state legislatures.
If we believe in states' rights, we must recognize the Constitution gives the states the power to submit their duly certified electors. We should respect the states' authority, otherwise we might as well replace the Electoral College with Congress.
As I said weeks ago, the legal and constitutional electoral process needed to be followed to give President Trump a fair hearing and exhaust his legal rights.
Nearly sixty legal cases were heard, but each has been dismissed. In five of the six states in question, Republican legislatures had the power to object and send a different slate of electoral votes to Congress. But, they did not.
So, we are now at the end of the process.
Look, I don't like the results of this election at all. Like most West Virginians I voted for President Trump and am deeply disappointed at the outcome of the election. I am angry and frustrated at what happened with the states in question. However, that does not mean I can deviate from the limited role laid out by the Constitution.
Protecting the integrity of our elections and maintaining the confidence of American voters is fundamental to the health of our country. Congress and state legislatures must take steps now to address the flaws that have been clearly identified and make sure they can't happen in the future. The American people deserve peace of mind that national elections are uniform, fair, and transparent. In so doing we can restore confidence in the electoral process."
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