WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBW) — Congress is in joint session on Wednesday to carry out the certification of the Electoral College, which cast their votes last month to finalize President-elect Joe Biden's win in the 2020 presidential race.
In Western New York, two Congressional Republicans are split on the certification.
Representative Chris Jacobs of New York's 27th District released a statement on Wednesday afternoon stating he "[felt] it necessary" to object to the certification of electoral votes from "contested states." His statement in full is below:
There is no question the presidential election was contentious and conducted under trying circumstances, leading several states to make unprecedented changes to their electoral systems without the authorization of their respective state legislatures as the Constitution dictates. This troubling fact, along with countless reports of election irregularities, has left many Americans with valid concerns about the integrity of the November 3rd presidential election because these concerns have yet to be properly adjudicated.
I have a duty to represent my constituents and a constitutional duty to ensure the security and integrity of our elections. I do not take this decision lightly, but for these reasons feel it necessary to object to the certification of the electoral votes from contested states.
The American people must have confidence in their elections, and I intend to work to restore that trust. As such, I will support efforts to achieve a full review of the actions taken by states that have led to the widespread distrust that now exists. I feel it is imperative to allow for this crucial national conversation to be debated in public on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Representative Tom Reed of the 23rd District has a different opinion on whether to contest. While Reed's statement also points to concerns regarding how the voting process was conducted in 2020, Reed said in a statement released Tuesday that he would not object to the certification (formatted as provided):
"Listening to those I represent has always been my top priority. In a teletownhall just last night, I heard the passion on both sides.
We can rebuild trust in our elections by transparently addressing the last-minute, confusing way some states conducted voting in 2020. The Constitution, however, makes clear Congress cannot overrule states and their designated electors. I must be true to the oath I took to uphold the Constitution and will not object to any state's electors tomorrow."
Objecting to the certification causes the House and Senate to go into separate sessions to vote on the objection. If both sides were to agree on the objection, electoral votes can be thrown out.