Uncertainty in the smooth transfer of power in the United States seems to be over, as around 140 Republicans have decided against counting electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
Citing two Republican congressmen, news channel CNN reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked fellow party men not to vote.
Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes, including five states that voted for Trump in 2016. President Trump questioned the voting process after the loss. and he and his Republican allies filed at least 40 lawsuits alleging fraud, all of which were lost.
Last week, Mo Brooks and several other conservative members had a meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and discussed the claims of fraud. They expressed confidence that both the houses would vote to debate the legitimacy of the votes.
On January 6, Congress will finalise the results in a joint session with Vice-President Pence in the chair. If no member objects to the results, they will be certified. But if a member of the lower house and a Senator vote to challenge a state’s electors, Congress would have to deliberate on whether to accept those electors.
Trump’s close ally, Republican Senator Josh Hawley has questioned the legitimacy of electoral votes. The debate could, however, delay the final result, but could not overturn them.
One of Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, accused Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems, two companies that make voting equipment and software, of switching votes from Trump to Biden. The US Justice Department conducted an investigation but found no evidence of fraud.
Several Republicans have also disagreed with any attempt to overturn the election results. Trump has also criticized Senator McConnell who asked senators not to challenge the results.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Ben Sasse also criticized his party colleagues who plan to side with Trump.
“The president and his allies are playing with fire. They have been asking—first the courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress—to overturn the results of a presidential election. They have unsuccessfully called on judges and are now calling on federal officeholders to invalidate millions and millions of votes,” Sasse wrote. “If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn’t and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote.”