Virginia Delegates Explain Why They're Asking Pence to Nullify State's Certified Election Results

Posted: Jan 06, 2021 9:45 AM
Virginia Delegates Explain Why They're Asking Pence to Nullify State's Certified Election Results

Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Republicans are asking a lot of Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday. Conservative lawmakers, led by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), are counting on the VP to play the last card in the 2020 presidential election and refuse to certify the electoral college votes, essentially overturning the election.

Three GOP delegates in Virginia are adding a few demands to Pence's long list. On Tuesday, they sent a letter to the VP asking him to throw out the state's election results, which gave Joe Biden the win and Old Dominion's 13 electoral votes. According to the Associated Press, Biden won the state by more than 10 points. But members of the Virginia General Assembly question that margin.

"The reported vote margin in Virginia between the electoral slates is 451, 138 votes," they write in the letter to Pence. "In compliance with the unconstitutional Special Session legislation SB least 215, 140 ballots were deposited in unsecure 'drop boxes' otherwise prohibited in the Commonwealth (39 localities, including some larger ones, were not able to provide actual counts or estimates of 'drop box' ballots received.)"

SB 5120 appropriates $2,000,000 to the Department of Elections to be used to provide prepaid postage for the return of absentee ballots for the November 3, 2020, election, the bill's text reads.

The Virginia lawmakers go on to note that most of the state registrars shared concerns that the last-minute changes to election law were "communicated poorly, required significant additional labor to execute, came with little additional funding, and greatly compromised the ability the ability of registrars to conduct the 2020 election." They conclude by asking Pence to wait to act until a forensic audit of the election is complete.

Republicans representing other states have explained why they're opposing at least some of today's electoral college certification.

"The law is clear about my authority and responsibility in tomorrow’s proceedings, and the Constitution and prior court rulings are unambiguous: only state legislatures can make election laws, – not Governors, Secretaries of State, courts, or election officials," Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) said in a statement.

"There are too many witnesses, sworn affidavits and claims of irregularities for Congress to turn a blind eye," newly sworn-in New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said of her decision to challenge the vote. "Every member has sworn to uphold the Constitution and now has an obligation to take these claims seriously."

Congress begins its electoral college session at 1 p.m. today. President Trump himself told Pence that he's depending on him.

"I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you," Trump said at a rally in Dalton, Georgia, on Monday night. "Of course, if he doesn't come through, I won't like him quite as much."