Tester condemns ‘attack on our democracy’

    BRIEF

    (U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester denounced Wednesday the move by 12 other senators objecting to the Electoral College results.

    “I join my Republican and Democratic colleagues in condemning this despicable and dangerous attack on our democracy,” said Tester, a Democrat, in a statement. “The election is over — and the time for baseless objections that do nothing but undermine our Constitution is over too. Now is the time for both sides to come together to solve the pressing problems facing our nation, not rip it apart.”

    Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, says he believes that there are some issues a Republican Senate and Democratic White House can agree on, such as infrastructure. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

    A majority of Republican and Democratic Senators, including Tester, have denounced the move to object to the Electoral College results. The 12 Senators have stated their objections are based on claims of election irregularities of which there is no evidence — something that has been confirmed by nonpartisan election officials, Trump’s former Attorney General Bill Barr, and the United States Supreme Court, among others.

    Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect, but President Donald Trump has made unsubstantiated claims the election was rigged. The United States Supreme Court has twice declined hearing challenges to the election, and dozens of courts throughout the United States have rejected claims of illegal voting practice.

    In the email from his office, Tester quoted “notable Republicans” who have denounced the Electoral College objection:

    Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah:

    “The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our democratic republic. The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice. President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed. The Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election. The Presidential Voter Fraud Commission disbanded without finding such evidence…I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?”

    Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania:

    “A fundamental, defining feature of a democratic republic is the right of the people to elect their own leaders. The effort by Senators (Josh) Hawley, (Ted) Cruz, and others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in swing states like Pennsylvania directly undermines this right. The senators justify their intent by observing that there have been many allegations of fraud. But allegations of fraud by a losing campaign cannot justify overturning an election. They fail to acknowledge that these allegations have been adjudicated in courtrooms across America and were found to be unsupported by evidence. President Trump’s own Attorney General, Bill Barr, stated ‘we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.’”

    Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas:

    “…Nevertheless, the founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states—not Congress. They entrusted the election of our president to the people, acting through the Electoral College—not Congress. And they entrusted the adjudication of election disputes to the courts—not Congress. Under the Constitution and federal law, Congress’s power is limited to counting electoral votes submitted by the states. If Congress purported to overturn the results of the Electoral College, it would not only exceed that power, but also establish unwise precedents.”

    Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska:

    “I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and that is what I will do January 6—just as I strive to do every day as I serve the people of Alaska. I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election. The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results. I urge my colleagues from both parties to recognize this and to join me in maintaining confidence in the Electoral College and our elections so that we ensure we have the continued trust of the American people.”

    Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio:

    “…After two months of recounts and legal challenges, not a single state recount changed a result and, of the dozens of lawsuits filed, not one found evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the result of the election. This was the finding of numerous Republican-appointed judges and the Trump Administration’s own Department of Justice. Every state has now weighed in and certified its electoral slate based on its vote and the process set out in the Constitution.”

    Tester’s email also offered this bipartisan statement from Senators Romney (R-Utah), Manchin (D-W.Va), Collins (R-Maine), Warner (D-Va.), Cassidy (R-La.) Shaheen (D-N.H.), Murkowski (R-Alaska), King (I-Maine), Hassan (D-N.H), Durbin (D-Ill.):

    “The 2020 election is over. All challenges through recounts and appeals have been exhausted. At this point, further attempts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election are contrary to the clearly expressed will of the American people and only serve to undermine Americans’ confidence in the already determined election results. The voters have spoken, and Congress must now fulfill its responsibility to certify the election results. In two weeks, we will begin working with our colleagues and the new Administration on bipartisan, common sense solutions to the enormous challenges facing our country. It is time to move forward.”

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    Keila Szpaller
    Keila Szpaller is deputy editor of the Daily Montanan and covers education. In Montana since 1998, she loves hiking in Glacier National Park, wandering the grounds of the Archie Bray and sitting on her front porch with friends. Before joining States Newsroom Montana, she served as city editor of the Missoulian, the largest news outlet in western Montana. She worked there from 2006 to 2020. As a Missoulian reporter, she was named a co-fellow by the Education Writers Association to report on a series about economic mobility; grantee of the Society of Environmental Journalists for a project on conservation from the U.S. to Africa; and Kiplinger Fellow in Digital Media and Public Affairs Journalism. She previously worked at the Great Falls Tribune and Missoula Independent, and she earned her master’s in journalism from the University of Montana. She lives in Missoula with her husband, Brock, who is also her favorite chef, and her pup, Henry, who is her favorite adventure companion. She believes she deserves to wear the T-shirt with this saying: “World’s most mediocre runner.”