(Headline USA) Republican leaders in four critical swing states say they won’t flip their state’s electors to vote for President Donald Trump.
Their comments effectively shut down a plan some Republicans floated as a last chance to keep Trump in the White House.
State GOP lawmakers in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all said they would not intervene in the selection of electors, who ultimately cast the votes that secure a candidate’s victory.
“I do not see, short of finding some type of fraud — which I haven’t heard of anything — I don’t see us in any serious way addressing a change in electors,” said Rusty Bowers, Arizona’s Republican House speaker, who says he’s been inundated with emails pleading for the legislature to intervene. “They are mandated by statute to choose according to the vote of the people.”
The legislatures may amend statutes regarding the allocation of Electoral College votes at their pleasure.
The idea involves GOP-controlled legislatures dismissing Biden’s popular vote wins in their states and opting to select Trump electors.
The conservative-leaning Supreme Court would uphold such a decision, since the Constitution grants sole authority over Electoral College votes to the state legislatures.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Republican-controlled legislatures should consider the move.
If the result of the election was unclear in mid-December, at the deadline for naming electors, Republican-controlled legislatures in those states could declare that Trump won and appoint electors supporting him.
Trump’s campaign and its allies have filed lawsuits that aim to delay the certification and potentially provide evidence for a failed election.
The most significant that remain ask courts to prevent Michigan and Pennsylvania from certifying Biden as the winner of their elections.
But legal experts say it’s impossible for courts to ultimately stop those states from appointing electors by the December deadline.
Even if Trump won a court fight, there’s another potential roadblock: Congress could be the final arbiter of whether to accept disputed slates of electors, according to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, the law outlining the process.
In the end, if the Democratic-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate could not agree on which electors to accept, and the House would elect the president, with each state delegation casting one vote. Republicans control the majority of House delegations.
Asked this week if state lawmakers should invalidate the official results, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “Everything should be on the table.”
DeSantis urged Pennsylvania and Michigan residents to call state lawmakers and urge them to intervene.
“Under Article 2 of the Constitution, presidential electors are done by the legislatures and the schemes they create and the framework. And if there’s departure from that, if they’re not following the law, if they’re ignoring law, then they can provide remedies as well,” he said.
Republican lawmakers, however, appear to be holding steady.
“The Pennsylvania General Assembly does not have and will not have a hand in choosing the state’s presidential electors or in deciding the outcome of the presidential election,” top Republican legislative leaders, state Sen. Jake Corman and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, wrote in an October op-ed. Their offices said Friday they stand by the statement.
The Republican leader of Wisconsin’s Assembly, Robin Vos, has long dismissed the idea, and his spokesperson, Kit Beyer, said he stood by that position on Thursday.
In Michigan, legislative leaders say any intervention would be against state law.
Even though the GOP-controlled legislature is investigating the election, state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told radio station WJR on Friday, “It is not the expectation that our analysis will result in any change in the outcome.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.