Indiana Daily Student

Indiana Sen. Mike Braun joins effort to dispute presidential election results

<p>Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., celebrates his win in the Senate race Nov. 6, 2019, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Braun is one of 11 Republican senators planning to challenge presidential election results Jan. 6 in Congress.&nbsp;</p>

Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., celebrates his win in the Senate race Nov. 6, 2019, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Braun is one of 11 Republican senators planning to challenge presidential election results Jan. 6 in Congress. 

Indiana Sen Mike Braun  announced Saturday that he would join 10 other Republican senators in rejecting electors’ votes cast on Dec. 14 from states with disputed election results when Congress reconvenes Jan. 6.

Braun accompanies senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., James Lankford, R-Okla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and incoming senators Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., in planning to object to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

Braun has served as one of Indiana’s representatives in the U.S. Senate since 2018 and currently works on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Budget, Environment and Public Works, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and Aging committees.

According to the IndyStar, Braun’s fellow Indiana Sen Todd Young has not signed on to the effort to oppose the electors.

This is not the first time members of congress have objected to the results of a presidential election. In a joint press release, Braun and his fellow senators said, “There is long precedent of Democratic members of Congress raising objections to presidential election results, as they did in 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017.”

The release mentions Congress establishing an Electoral Commission in 1877 to deal with disputed election returns.

Braun and fellow senators cited allegations of voter fraud and irregularities as the reasoning behind their plans to oppose election results in the release.

The Supreme Court has previously refused to hear lawsuits sponsored by President Trump regarding the election results and allegations of voter fraud. Federal and state courts have dismissed these claims.

“Ideally, the courts would have heard evidence and resolved these claims of serious election fraud,” the senators wrote in the release. “Twice, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to do so; twice, the Court declined.”

Back in December, former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, informed the public that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter-fraud that could impact the 2020 presidential election in an interview with the Associated Press.

Braun and the other 10 senators called for Congress to appoint an Electoral Commission and conduct a 10-day audit of the election results from disputed states so electors could change their vote if necessary. The press release stated the senators will not accept the electors from disputed states until the audit is complete.

For electoral vote objections to be considered during the joint session between the House and the Senate, they must be written out and endorsed by at least one member from each chamber. If an objection meets those qualifications, the joint session between the House and the Senate will be suspended and each chamber will meet separately to debate and vote on the objection. If a simple majority is obtained by both the House and the Senate then the disputed states' votes are thrown out.

According to Edward B. Foley, a professor of constitutional law at Ohio State, because both the House and the Senate must reject or accept a submission, the possibility of Congress refusing to accept the result of a state election is reduced. It is unlikely these 11 senators will be successful given the Democrats control the House and several Republican senators have rejected the challenge, making a simple majority in both chambers difficult.  

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