Keller, Meuser vote to reject Pennsylvania electors
Valley Congressmen Fred Keller and Dan Meuser voted to reject the certification of Pennsylvania's electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden overnight, joining six other state Republicans.
Objections were raised in only two states — Arizona and Pennsylvania — when lawmakers resumed their session following the riots in Washington, D.C. During a session that lasted into Thursday morning, Congress ratified Biden's victory.
Keller and Meuser voted to approve the electors from Arizona late Wednesday night, then voted no on Pennsylvania's electors early Thursday morning. The Senate voted 93-6 to reject the Arizona objection. The House also rejected the objection 303-121. In the Pennsylvania objection, the Senate voted 92-7 to reject the objection, with a 282-138 vote count in the House.
After condemning the violence, Keller and Meuser spoke on the House floor to voice their objections.
"The criminal behavior we witnessed today before us does not erase the facts before us," Keller, who represents the 12th District, said. "I am objecting to the certification of Pennsylvania's electoral votes because Gov. Tom Wolf, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court violated the state legislature's clear constitutional authority to set election proceedings.
"Pennsylvania's court unlawfully extended the deadline for absentee and mail-in ballots," Keller continued. "Gov. Wolf's administration dismissed signature authentication procedures for absent and mail-in ballots, allowed for the uneven administration of the election across counties and unilaterally changed Pennsylvania's election code without the state legislature's consent. The constitution is clear. The facts are indisputable.
"My objection is grounded in the constitution and the rule of law. If we allow the governor to violate the constitutional rights of the General Assembly, what is stopping him from violating the constitutional rights of the 12.8 million Pennsylvanians our state legislators are elected to represent?"
Meuser, who helped Capitol Police as protesters tried to gain access to the House floor called Wednesday's protest a "black mark," before returning to the House early Thursday morning to reject the electors. He represents the 9th District.
"A day that was intended to debate the importance of election integrity and the rule of law tragically became a day that will be a black mark in our nation's history," he said. "Nevertheless, the work of this House must go on. America will go on.
"The fact remains a large number of Pennsylvanians, are enormously frustrated with actions taken by elected and appointed officials in Pennsylvania, which have led to a high level of distrust for this past election," he said. "We have the U.S. Constitution, which is the reason we have been and continue to be a nation of laws. The U.S. constitution is unambiguous that state legislatures are the entity with the authority to set election proceedings and enact changes to election law."
Meuser called the election a "free-for-all."
"If there is an American ideal that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation can agree upon, it's that they must have election integrity," he concluded. "We should not certify these electors which were derived by unlawful actions and resulted in inaccurate vote tallies."
Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democrat from the 17th District, called out his colleagues for their move to discount Pennsylvania's ballots. "These objections don't deserve an ounce of respect," he said. "Not an ounce! A woman died out there tonight, and you're making these objections."