Wolf administration rebukes GOP congressmen for expected ‘no’ vote on electoral college vote certification


President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Middletown. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster/York, is at far left. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Harrisburg International Airport, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Middletown. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster/York, is at far left. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar led a stinging rebuke of a number of Pennsylvania’s GOP congressmen Wednesday for their commitment to a baseless challenge to the commonwealth’s electoral college vote.

Congress is expected to certify the results of the presidential election. But more than 100 members of the U.S. House and 14 senators have planned to challenge the vote based on unproven allegations and conspiracy theories over alleged voter fraud and malfeasance that state and federal courts across the country have roundly rejected.

Wolf took a markedly more aggressive tack in addressing GOP lawmakers during a press briefing.

“They are purposely spreading disinformation,” Wolf said. “I cannot let it go unchallenged.”

Republican Congressman Scott Perry of York County explained his rationale for pursuing a delay of the commonwealth’s electoral college vote in a tweet on Tuesday, citing a Supreme Court case involving the Secretary of State that has yet to be decided, Republican Party of Pennsylvania v. Boockvar.

These U.S. Representatives all signed onto a statement declaring they “cannot agree to support electors chosen”:

• John Joyce (Adams, Bedford, Blair)

• Fred Keller (Bedford, Centre, Clinton)

• Mike Kelly (Butler, Crawford, Erie)

• Dan Meuser (Berks, Lebanon and Luzerne counties)

• Scott Perry (Cumberland, Dauphin, York)

• Guy Reschenthaler (Western PA near Pittsburgh)

• Lloyd Smucker (Lancaster, York)

• Glenn “GT” Thompson (Armstrong, Butler, Cambria)

Only Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia suburbs abstained.

Wolf characterized arguments attempting to cast doubt on the November results as disingenuous, noting state and federal lawmakers who have made such claims were sworn-in based on the results of the same election.

“By perpetuating disinformation about the election, these Republican lawmakers disregard the oaths they took to serve their constituents and protect their rights under the constitution. It is disrespectful to the American people who exercised their right to vote in this election and to the patriots who fought and died for our democracy,” the governor said.

Boockvar reiterated the number of requirements and protections Pennsylvania has in place to keep voters fair and election workers accountable.

“A layered set of defenses are in place in the commonwealth to protect every step of the process, including cyber-security protections, extensive eligibility checking procedures, and state-of-the art voting systems that meet stringent federal and state standards,” she said. “We will always seek to ensure that no eligible voter is disenfranchised unfairly,”

Amid protests in Washington D.C., attended by President Donald Trump and members of his legal team, Congress is meeting to certify the electoral college vote, but the usually routine proceedings could drag on into the night.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is among the faction of GOP lawmakers rejecting their party’s bid to challenge the vote.

“The effort by Sens. Hawley, Cruz, and others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in swing states like Pennsylvania directly undermines this right,” Toomey said in a statement over the weekend.

The results of the 2020 Election have been certified by all states, which allows Congress to meet to rubber-stamp those results. They have also been upheld by courts despite multiple challenges and calls for review. Counties, states controlled by both parties and even the U.S. Justice Department have all praised the effort.

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