Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, who was among seven California GOP representatives who voted to challenge Democrat Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 win, issued a statement Thursday explaining why he questioned the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania while decrying the violence that erupted in the U.S. Capitol.
“There’s no excuse or any justification for violence like we saw yesterday at the United States Capitol. We must always protect the rule of law,” Calvert said. “During difficult and divisive times in our nation, I believe we must follow the Constitution. That’s why today I lent my voice to the millions of Americans and my constituents who are deeply concerned by the integrity of the election.”
Calvert, who acknowledged Congress’ certification of Biden as the nation’s 46th president, said his objections to the Electoral College votes were done with an eye to encouraging changes in voting systems nationwide.
“Make no mistake this was not a decision I take lightly,” he said. “However, moving forward, we must demand states establish election laws through constitutional means and execute the election process in a more orderly and transparent manner to ensure every American can have confidence in the integrity of our elections.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Temecula, whose district includes parts of San Diego County, also challenged the slate of electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania, as did House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, and Reps. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, and Devin Nunes, R-Tulare.
“Our country must come together,” Issa said via social media, ahead of the votes. “Our nation can get this right.”
They were among more than 100 GOP members from both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to formally object to the electors from the two states among six where President Donald Trump alleged voter irregularities. The hours-long debate concluded in the predawn hours in the U.S. Capitol, which hours earlier was breached by a violent mob that prompted a halt to proceedings on the House floor.
Along with Arizona and Pennsylvania, some GOP House members intended to challenge results from Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. However, no Republican senators would support the objections during the joint session of Congress, and Democrats were united against all objections, hence there was no debate on those states.
Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the joint session as president of the Senate, did not heed Trump’s call for a unilateral rejection of the slates of electors for Biden, certifying the final tally of 306 to 232 Electoral College votes for the latter.