Sen. Portman to certify election results, supports election integrity panel

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, arrives as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress resumes in Washington. Pressure is increasing on a Trump administration official to authorize a formal transition process for President-elect Joe Biden. Portman of Ohio on Monday, Nov. 23, called for the head of the General Services Administration to release money and staffing needed for the transition. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, arrives as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress resumes in Washington. Pressure is increasing on a Trump administration official to authorize a formal transition process for President-elect Joe Biden. Portman of Ohio on Monday, Nov. 23, called for the head of the General Services Administration to release money and staffing needed for the transition. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Rob Portman announced Monday that he will vote to certify the 2020 presidential election results, going against a group of some Republicans who plan to oppose the results.

“The Constitution created a system for electing the president through the Electoral College that ensures the people and the states hold the power, not Congress,” read his statement. “I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters.”

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Portman both voted and campaigned for President Donald Trump and said he was disappointed with the election results.

He also supported the Trump campaign’s effort to pursue recounts and legal challenges. Portman noted that there were cases of fraud and irregularities, which occur in every presidential election, and said those who participated in fraud should be prosecuted.

“But 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,” he said. “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.”

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To restore America’s faith in elections, Portman said he is in favor of Congress creating a bipartisan election integrity panel that will give transparency into issues in the 2020 election and recommend ideas for the next election.

On Wednesday, Congress will gather to certify the election results. Some republican lawmakers have announced plans to object to certifying the results. If a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate object to a state’s certification of the results, a vote is required to decide whether to accept or reject a state’s results.

“It is an extreme remedy because, counter to the Constitution, it allows Congress to substitute its judgment for the judgment of the voters, and for the judgment of the states that certified the results,” Portman said.

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The Senator noted that he also opposed Democrats’ objection to Ohio’s results in the 2004 presidential election.

“I was concerned then that Democrats were establishing a dangerous precedent where Congress would inappropriately assert itself to try to reverse the will of the voters,” he said. “I cannot now support Republicans doing the same thing.”

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