Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Ohio GOP Split on Political Theater Electoral Vote Challenge

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 10:19 AM

click to enlarge GAGE SKIDMORE/FLICKRCC
  • Gage Skidmore/FlickrCC

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Congress meets today to count states' electoral votes, and possibly never before has this ceremonial process received so much attention.

A dozen Republican senators and 140 House members, including a few from Ohio, plan to challenge President Donald Trump's loss in key battleground states. While the effort is not unprecedented, University of Dayton political-science lecturer Dan Birdsong contended that its scale is noteworthy.



"It kind of questions the motivation behind these individual legislators, because it doesn't look like it can change the outcome. It looks more like political theater," he said. "If it clearly was to support democracy, it wouldn't be so partisan."

The challenge would have to pass in both the U.S. House and Senate. While Birdsong said he believes instances of fraud and irregularities did occur, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has said he won't support the challenge. Among Ohio's Republican House members, Jim Jordan of Champaign County and Bob Gibbs of Holmes County have said they'll challenge the vote count. Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River has said he'll oppose; and the remaining seven have not made an official declaration.

Vice President Mike Pence also is facing pressure to take a "last stand" on Trump's behalf and reject some states' results. However, Birdsong said that isn't something Pence can do as Senate president.

"The most agreed-upon analysis is that the role of vice president is to open up the certified votes from the various states, and then they're to be counted - that he doesn't have independence in selecting some over the others," Birdsong said. "That's not part of his power in this process."

In order for the country to heal moving forward, Birdsong said he believes Americans will need to better understand that equality, liberty and other common political values don't look the same for all people.

"In political discussions, the fear of having the discussion is, in part, one of the problems that we're having," he said. "We're not even engaging in a conversation about what a free and fair election should look like with someone who doesn't necessarily agree, someone from the opposing party."

Today's joint session of Congress is to begin at 1 p.m. EST.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

February 24, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation