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Tribune editorial: ND delegation right to back Biden victory

Tribune editorial: ND delegation right to back Biden victory

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North Dakota’s congressional delegation needs to follow through today on their stated intentions to support the Electoral College results.

U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, all Republicans, said they won’t object to the results. Hoeven and Armstrong specifically noted in statements that they wouldn’t want another state challenging North Dakota’s results.

They are right -- it’s the responsibility of individual states to conduct elections and verify the results. If a candidate is unhappy with the outcome there’s recourse in the courts and, if the election is close, through recounts.

President Donald Trump has challenged the vote totals in a number of states through numerous court filings and recounts. He’s tried to talk legislators in at least two states into replacing the Biden electors with a slate favorable to him. Legislators have rejected his efforts.

The president has berated Republican governors and secretaries of state in Georgia and Arizona. He went so far as to call Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Saturday to pressure him to find enough votes to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Raffensperger rebuffed him, telling the president the numbers he’s using are wrong.

The Electoral College count shows Biden won the election, 306-232. While some Republican members of the House and Senate will object to the results today, they don’t have the votes to overrule Biden’s victory. Part of the effort is driven by the future presidential ambitions of two senators.

Hoeven, Cramer and Armstrong need to remain steadfast and vote to accept the electoral results. In rare instances, Congress has become involved in determining the outcome of a presidential election. The 2020 election isn’t such a case.

Recounts and court cases in the disputed states have shown the elections were fair. Problems that occurred were of the routine nature that happen during elections. They were minor and didn’t have an impact on the outcome.

North Dakotans wouldn’t want Congress interfering in our elections. There are some who don’t like the fact that North Dakota doesn’t have voter registration. There are some who don’t like that North Dakota provided an easy way to vote through absentee ballots.

However, it’s worked well for us in the past and in the 2020 voting and will do so in the future as long as there’s no interference.

Armstrong, in a joint statement with other members of Congress, noted the power to choose electors is the responsibility of legislatures and states, not Congress. That Republican legislatures in disputed states approved Biden electoral slates indicates satisfaction with election results.

North Dakota’s delegation did voice concerns that Congress hasn’t examined the integrity of the 2020 voting. Hoeven and Cramer support a proposal to create a commission to review the election and make suggestions for future elections. However, it’s unlikely to win approval in a divided Congress.

States and Congress shouldn’t react to the 2020 election by attempting to make it more difficult to vote. Record turnouts for the presidential election reflect the widespread interest in the race and the effectiveness of get-out-the-vote efforts by both parties. Efforts to target minority voters would be particularly abhorrent.

Hoeven, Cramer and Armstrong will be voting to uphold the constitution and to protect North Dakota if they vote for the Electoral College results. If they do so they should be applauded, not criticized.

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