TOPEKA — Four Kansas Republicans who will be members of the new Congress plan to join objections to Electoral College certification Wednesday in an effort to bolster President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud that allegedly contributed to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November.
U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, U.S. Reps. Ron Estes, Tracey Mann and Jake LaTurner, who all endorsed Trump’s re-election, have announced their intent to support Trump’s quest to overturn the election by first delaying the process in which Congress counts Electoral College votes and certifies the winner of the presidential races.
In the Kansas delegation, Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids have declined to join a campaign to deflate the 306-232 Electoral College advantage held by Biden. In late November, Moran said there was “every indication” Biden would become president Jan. 20.
Estes, Mann and LaTurner issued a statement Sunday that said the challenge was necessary because several states faced “serious allegations of voter fraud and violations of their own state laws.”
“This action is not taken lightly and comes after extensive study and research,” the trio said. “Kansans deserve to know that all legal, and only legal, votes were counted. We hope our actions begin to restore the confidence of tens of millions of our fellow Americans that feel their sacred right to vote is under attack.”
Marshall, who took the oath of office in Washington, D.C., to replace retired Republican Pat Roberts, said he joined Republican senators objecting to the Electoral College count because “we must hold accountable any state that disregarded the law and our constitition.”
“The Electoral College is only as strong as the states who are entrusted to follow election laws. That is why I will be supporting objection and debate next week,” Marshall said.
Former state Rep. Don Hineman, a moderation Republican from western Kansas who served as Kansas House majority leader, said on social media that Marshall was “making a serious mistake.”
“You know how it will turn out,” Hineman said. “Fruitless theater, but in the process you will have added a veneer of legitimacy to claims that are simply unfounded. This is not the way to start your senatorial career.”
Kansas was easily won by Trump and congressional Republicans skeptical of Biden’s popular vote and Electoral College success haven’t raised objections to legitimacy of voting results in this state.
In a Facebook post before sworn into office, Marshall said he was honored to be in the U.S. Senate after serving in the U.S. House representing the 1st District of western Kansas.
“We will absolutely give it 115%, making sure Kansas has a strong voice up here and keeping this republic strong,” he said.
In a statement on the Electoral College from a group of Republican senators that included Marshall, the Kansas Republican declared allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceeded all those raised in his lifetime. It goes on to say one national poll indicated 39% of Americans believe the election victory by Biden was rigged.
“But, whether or not our elected officials or journalists believe it, that deep distrust of our democratic processes will not magically disappear. It should concern us all. And it poses an ongoing threat to the legitimacy of any subsequent administrations,” that statement said.