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Pence ‘welcomes’ senators’ bid to derail Joe Biden win

Pence ‘welcomes’ senators’ bid to derail Joe Biden win
Mike Pence
London, Jan 3 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 1/3/2021 12:15:31 PM IST

US Vice-President Mike Pence has welcomed an effort by a group of senators to refuse to certify Joe Biden’s presidential election win.

The 11 Republican senators and senators-elect, led by Ted Cruz, want a 10-day delay to audit unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.

The move is certain to fail as most senators are expected to endorse Mr Biden in the 6 January vote.

Mr Biden, a Democrat, is due to be inaugurated as president on 20 January.

President Donald Trump has refused to concede the 3 November election, repeatedly alleging fraud without providing any evidence.

Mr Pence has stopped short of echoing allegations of election fraud. But on Saturday, his chief of staff Marc Short said Mr Pence shared what he called “the concerns of millions of Americans about voter fraud and irregularities”.

Mr Pence “welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people”, Mr Short said.

As president of the Senate, Mr Pence will have the responsibility of overseeing the session on 6 January and declaring Mr Biden the winner.

All 50 states have certified the election result, some after recounts and legal appeals.

So far, US courts have rejected 60 challenges to Mr Biden’s win. Mr Trump has notched up only one minor victory, concerning a small number of postal ballots in Pennsylvania, a state won by Mr Biden.

In a statement, the 11 senators led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz said November’s election had “featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities”.

An investigation by the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) found no evidence to back any claims of fraud.

Citing a precedent from 1877 - when a bi-partisan committee was formed to investigate after both parties claimed victory in three states - they urged Congress to appoint a commission for an “emergency 10-day audit of election returns in the disputed states”.

“Once completed, individual states would evaluate the commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed,” they said.

However, they said their bid was unlikely to succeed. “We are not naïve. We fully expect most, if not all, Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise,” they said.

 

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