ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Republican Senator Pat Toomey on Saturday scolded fellow party members' attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election and said he will battle the "effort to disenfranchise millions of voters in my state and others."
"A fundamental, defining feature of a democratic republic is the right of the people to elect their own leaders," Toomey said in a statement. "The effort by Senators Hawley, Cruz, and others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in swing states like Pennsylvania directly undermines this right."
A coalition of GOP senators and senators-elect, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, will object to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results when a joint session of Congress meets next week unless there is an emergency 10-day audit of the results by an electoral commission.
Their effort is separate from one announced by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who said this week that he would object to what he said was the failure of some states -- most notably Pennsylvania -- to follow their own election laws.
"Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed. By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes," the lawmakers say in a statement.
Toomey, who endorsed and voted for Donald Trump's reelection, said the allegations of voter fraud are "unsupported by evidence" and highlighted Bill Barr's dismissal of election interference.
"I acknowledge that this past election, like all elections, had irregularities. But the evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden won this election," Toomey said. "His narrow victory in Pennsylvania is easily explained by the decline in suburban support for President Trump and the president’s slightly smaller victory margins in most rural counties."
The lawmakers say there is a precedent of Democrats objecting to election results in 1969, 2001, 2005 and 2019: "And, in both 1969 and 2005, a Democratic Senator joined with a Democratic House Member in forcing votes in both houses on whether to accept the presidential electors being challenged," they say.
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The senators and senators-elect are calling for Congress to appoint an Electoral Commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit of the election returns in states where the results are disputed. They cite as precedent the 1877 between Samuel Hayes and Rutherford Hayes, where there were allegations of fraud in multiple states. Without that, they will vote against the certification.
Pennsylvania certified its election results on Nov. 24, which pushed Joe Biden over the 270 electoral college votes necessary to declare victory. Since then, state Republicans have been embroiled in court battles challenging results in key swing states.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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