Stefanik joins ranks to try to overturn election

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik — Fulton County’s Republican congresswoman — plans on formally objecting to certifying the Electoral College results that declared Democrat Joe Biden the winner for president over Republican incumbent President Donald Trump.

The last part of the presidential election process involves certification by Congress, and many Republican federal representatives are exercising their rights to object to the Electoral College, whose states certified Biden as the winner. The formal vote in Congress is Wednesday.

Needing 270 votes, Biden’s electoral win in 2020 over Trump was 306-232.

Stefanik, Fulton County’s congresswoman, issued a brief statement on her website Monday. She declined to be interviewed Monday by The Leader-Herald, and will not be going beyond her press statement.

“ I am honored every day to represent New York’s 21st Congressional District, and I believe it is my solemn and sacred duty to serve as your voice and your vote in Washington,” Stefanik said. “I swore an oath to protect and defend our Constitution – the utmost duty I perform as a member of the United States Congress. As the representative for New York’s 21st Congressional District, I plan to object to certain contested electors on January 6th. I do not take this action lightly. I am acting to protect our democratic process. Article II and the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution make clear that I have an obligation to act on this matter if I believe there are serious questions with respect to the presidential election.”

Stefanik added: “I believe those questions exist. Tens of millions of Americans are rightly concerned that the 2020 election featured unprecedented voting irregularities, unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws, and a fundamental lack of ballot integrity and security. To the tens of thousands of constituents and patriots across the country who have reached out to me in the past few weeks – please know that I hear you. The most precious foundation and covenant of our Republic is the right to vote, and consequently, the faith in the sanctity of our nation’s free and fair elections. As a member of Congress, I am committed to restoring the faith of the American people in our elections – that they are free, fair, secure, and according to the United States Constitution.”

According to The Associated Press, Wednesday’s congressional joint session to count electoral votes has taken on added importance this year as congressional Republicans allied with President Trump are pledging to try and undo Biden’s victory and subvert the will of the American people. The Republicans — a dozen senators and many more House members — are citing Trump’s repeated charges of widespread fraud. They say they will officially object to the results, forcing votes in the Republican-run Senate and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Jay S. Jacobs, chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, on Monday asked Stefanik to resign. He stated: “I am today calling for the resignation from office of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik …. In my more than 19 years as a party chairman, I cannot remember a time that I have called upon a Republican or Democratic official to resign — even when under indictment – as I have always felt that one is innocent until proven guilty. Through her statement today indicating her intention to support the effort to contest the legitimately certified electors in the 2020 presidential race, Congresswoman Stefanik has thrown in her lot with those colleagues who seek to violate their Constitutional oath to “protect and defend” the Constitution by seeking to overthrow the legitimately elected incoming president of the United States.” Jacobs added: “Congresswoman Stefanik knows that there are NO “contested electors” for her to oppose as every state, under THEIR Constitutional obligation, has certified the legitimacy of the electors now being sent to the Congress.  Similarly, she knows that there has not been presented any unrefuted and discredited evidence of any massive voter fraud in any state that she is going to challenge.  She knows that there are NO “serious questions” as to the legitimacy of the electors that she will seek to challenge.  Her statement alleging that she is seeking to defend democracy is a sham – and she knows it, thus violating her oath of office.  By her own words, she has discredited the office that she holds, has violated the oath that she has taken and has embarrassed the district and entire state that she purports to serve.”

Stefanik’s 12-county 21st Congressional District, geographically is the largest Congressional district east of the Mississippi River. She has been a staunch Trump supporter the past four years. Last November, she was returned to Congress for a fourth, two-year term, defeating Democratic Canton civic leader Tedra Cobb by a nearly two to one ratio. Stefanik was endorsed by Trump, re-elected by a count of 164,938 to 91,233. Stefanik beat Cobb by roughly 64 percent to 35.1 percent. The Willboro resident did very well in Republican-dominant Fulton County, winning 13,250 to 4,254. That was a 73.6 percent to 23.6 percent victory over Cobb.

An Albany native, Stefanik has been serving as the U.S. representative for New York’s 21st Congressional district since 2015. First elected at the age of 30, she was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the time. 

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