Is Sen Hawley right to force Congress to vote on accepting Electoral College results?


Fact Box

  • Election Day was Tuesday, November 3, 2020. 
  • Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of mail-in-ballots skyrocketed. Tensions over mail-in-ballots were high as many believed fraud to come hand-in-hand with absentee voting. 
  • Before the majority of mail-in-ballots were counted of the battleground states, Trump was in the lead in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. By November 7, Biden overtook Georgia and Pennsylvania. 
  • As of Saturday, November 7, media channels like CNN, PBS, Fox News, and Facebook broadcasted that Biden won the election with 290 electoral votes against Trump’s 214 votes. 
  • As of December 30, President Trump has not conceded the election even though the results of Biden’s win were confirmed by the Electoral College. 
  • Wednesday, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri “pledged to challenge” the election results forcing the Senate to debate Biden’s win. His concerns related to Pennsylvania’s election laws and Big Tech’s interference in the election.

Andrew (No)

Senator Hawley's stunt of objecting to the Electoral College results is nothing more than a waste of time. It certainly will not change the fact Joe Biden won the election, both in the Electoral College and in the popular vote contest. More importantly, his antics do not have enough support from his colleagues to actually achieve anything. The Democrats in the House will reject the claim, and many Republican Senators have already expressed disinterest in pursuing the baseless claims of election irregularities from the Trump camp. Objecting to the results may score points for Hawley with the outgoing president, but it won't affect the outcome or score any points for our democracy.

Ironically, maneuvers like this one from Senator Hawley may be most damaging to Hawley's own party. President Trump has shown that he has an enormous influence on Republican voters for congressional election campaigns. Moves like the one being attempted by Senator Hawley force his Republican colleagues to choose between undemocratic election meddling or opposing the president and facing the fallout in their next election cycle. With the Republican Senate majority hanging in the balance of the Georgia election, Mitch McConnell has reportedly been quietly urging his members not to go along with such attempts.   

Desperate measures such as Hawley's highlight flaws in our increasingly antiquated electoral system. The mere fact that the junior senator from Missouri thinks he has a chance of overthrowing the peoples' democratic will with a procedural move shows the need to reevaluate our electoral system. Luckily, in this case, Senator Hawley's attempts are merely political theater and won't amount to anything significant.

Bill (Yes)

Senator Hawley's decision to raise Electoral College objections is motivated by the numerous examples of voter fraud and irregularities that occurred in November's presidential election. In Georgia alone, it is estimated that 20,312 people who did not meet residency requirements illegally voted. In Pennsylvania, over 58,000 mail-in ballots were received on or BEFORE the mailed date. Historically low absentee ballot rejection rates were the norm across the country, and that one factor is estimated to have cost Trump the election.   

Election integrity is essential to a free society and enjoys wide support among Americans. A recent poll by the Honest Elections project revealed that 90% of respondents supported measures to increase fairness and integrity in the voting process.

Social media censorship of stories damaging to Biden also influenced Hawley's decision to place his objections on the record. In October, the New York Post uncovered key documents from Hunter Biden's hard drive that suggested a host of improper and questionable overseas transactions involving large sums of money changing hands. Most troubling is the implication that the President-elect was aware of his son's unsavory dealings. Twitter promptly shut down the Post's account and blocked access to the articles. Twitter also admitted that it had cited 300,000 user posts from 10/21 to 11/11 for what it deemed 'election misinformation.'

Hawley is right to force votes on the electoral college results, not least because it is well within his right to do so, but also because his Democrat counterparts in the past have done it. Most importantly, it's necessary to make public and transparent the deeply troubling aspects of the 2020 election.

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