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Sen. Jim Inhofe will not challenge Electoral College votes

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Posted at 12:10 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 13:28:10-05

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced he will not challenge the Electoral College vote.

READ MORE: Trump again pushes Pence to act outside of Constitution and 'reject' the Electoral College vote

As the final step of the presidential election process on Wednesday, Vice President Pence will open each state’s sealed certificates containing the results of their Electoral College votes. All the votes will be announced and counted.

In an unprecedented move, twelve Republican Senators and dozens of Republican House members say they will object to the election results of several swing states, should that occur, voting will stop and both chambers will hold up to two hours of debate on the objection.

Inhofe said to challenge the Electoral College vote would be a "violation" of his oath of office.

“On Sunday, I was sworn in for my fifth full term in the United States Senate. While being sworn, I took an oath to ‘support and defend’ the Constitution and to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the same.’ It is an oath I take very seriously, and in my 34 years in federal office, I have not and will not violate my oath.

When talking about my work in the Senate, I often reference the Constitution – it’s the guide for my legislative priorities: defending America and infrastructure. Just as the Constitution is clear about what should be Congress’ top priorities, it is also clear that the power to govern our Presidential elections, including certification and recounts, is explicitly delegated to the states in Article II, Section I. Furthermore, any questions about the electoral process or validity of results may only be constitutionally adjudicated in the courts.

My job on Wednesday is clear, and there are only two things I am permitted to do under the Constitution: ensure the electors are properly certified and count the electoral votes, even when I disagree with the outcome.

To challenge a state’s certification, given how specific the Constitution is, would be a violation of my oath of office—that is not something I am willing to do and is not something Oklahomans would want me to do.

I hear the frustration and anger from so many of my constituents – and believe me when I say that no one was more disappointed in the outcome of the presidential election on November 3 than me. I wanted President Trump to win. I supported him every step of the way – highlighting regularly all he has accomplished in the past four years and authoring the Trump Top 10 card. I understand so many have uncertainty and are questioning of the integrity of our elections. We have a lot of work to do to restore all Americans’ confidence that our elections are held freely and fairly, with every legal vote counted—and are starting that work now.”

For an entire state’s electoral votes to be dismissed, both a majority of the House and the Senate must agree to the objection. That’s unlikely to happen on Wednesday — Democrats currently control the House of Representatives, and several Republican Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have already said they oppose the objections.

Wednesday’s joint session of Congress will begin at 1 p.m. Should objections be raised regarding the results of several swing states, the session could stretch well into Thursday morning.

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