TOPEKA — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran wants no part of a constitutionally suspect attempt Wednesday to challenge Electoral College results in support of President Donald Trump’s vote fraud claims, while U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall tied a campaign fundraising appeal to this last-ditch effort to thwart President-elect Joe Biden.
Marshall and three of the state’s four U.S. House members — Republicans Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner and Tracey Mann — joined forces with Trump and others in Congress who find substance in allegations of fraud in swing states that delivered victory to Biden.
Moran and Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids intend to be part of a bipartisan majority expected to turn back this political insurgency.
“I am a conservative Republican,” Moran said. “Therefore, I must strictly adhere to the United States Constitution. To vote to reject these state-certified electoral votes would be to act outside the bounds of the Constitution, which I will not do.”
Moran, who has declared an intention to seek re-election in 2022, said Trump had every right to challenge results of the November election in the courts, but “no judge or Supreme court justice, including those appointed by President Trump, determined there was evidence sufficient to change the results of the election.”
Moran said formally objecting to the Electoral College process without a constitutional basis may provide short-term political benefits to some, but risked undermining the nation’s democracy. He said “no victory for one’s cause today can be worth what we would lose tomorrow.” He said individual states, consistent with principles of federalism and limited national government, held authority to determine and submit electors in the Electoral College.
Marshall, who was sworn in Sunday to replace retired U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, issued a fundraising appeal based on the Electoral College dispute. In the ad, Marshall said he would object to immediate Electoral College certification in states “with the most egregious examples of irregularities. Kansans and Americans deserve free and fair elections, but states like Pennsylvania failed to follow their own election laws.”
“That’s unacceptable, and we must take a stand. I will not stand by while 75 million Americans are silenced by an unfair process. The people, and President Trump, deserve a fair debate on the Senate floor. I was sent here to fight for you, not the swamp, and that’s exactly what I’m doing,” Marshall said in the appeal.
He also said radical liberals and the Washington establishment were angling to silence him with relentless criticism. That messaging, he said, required him to raise as much money as possible before Wednesday’s challenges.
“The fabric of our republic is on the line here. You deserve to know that your vote counts and we must know that our elections are being conducted with integrity,” Marshall said.
Ben Meers, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, said work by Republicans to challenge the Electoral College vote was the latest chapter in the GOP’s misinformation playbook.
He said it was “beyond hypocritical for these elected officials to undermine the will of American voters” after dozens of court decisions upholding the 2020 election and Trump’s attempt to pressure Georgia’s secretary of state to find evidence of misconduct.
“Donald Trump is not interested in facts, and Roger Marshall, Tracey Mann, Ron Estes and Jake LaTurner are aiding the president in his mission to disenfranchise millions of voters and steal the presidency from Joe Biden,” Meers said. “Using their platform as elected officials to aid an illegal effort to disenfranchise millions of American voters does not represent Kansas values.”
Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said in an interview that she didn’t have a sense of whether American voters should consider Trump a genius or fool for championing the argument he was being cheated out of re-election victory by state officials intent on making Biden the next president Jan. 20.
“When it’s something I can do absolutely nothing about, I tend not to dwell on it for very long,” Kelly said.