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Rep. Bill Johnson: ‘Election wasn’t fair’, plans to object

Johnson says he’ll object

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson will be among the 140 or so House Republicans who will vote today against counting all of the electoral votes won by President-elect Joe Biden, claiming the “election wasn’t fair.”

In a Tuesday statement, Johnson, R-Marietta, said he’d specifically object to the certification of the Electoral College vote of Pennsylvania “and possibly other states” claiming it “potentially violated the U.S. Constitution, disregarded their own state election laws, and / or failed to count all legal ballots.”

Johnson, whose 18-county district includes all of Columbiana County and southern Mahoning County, acknowledged the objections won’t “change the ultimate outcome of the 2020 presidential election. But I was elected to do the right thing for our Constitution and for our nation. Simply rubber-stamping these slipshod and partisan-laced electoral outcomes is wrong.”

He also claimed that “most of the people I represent know the truth: that the news media acting as the public relations department of the Democrat Party, Big Tech’s big thumb on the social media and search results scales and credible allegations of election fraud in some states” resulted in an unfair election.

At least 140 Republicans in the House and a dozen in the Senate plan today to object to Biden’s victories in swing states the Democrat won in the presidential election.

TRUMP OBJECTIONS

These Republicans are citing the objections of outgoing President Donald Trump. The Associated Press refers to the claims as “Trump’s repeated, baseless charges of widespread fraud.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland and a Biden ally, said: “President Trump and congressional Republicans’ efforts to overturn the results of a free and fair election are an attack on the most fundamental pillar of our democracy that has made our nation what is is over the last 200 years: the right to vote.”

Ryan, whose five-county district includes most of Mahoning and Trumbull, added: “This futile attempt to overturn the election is the absolute most cynical thing I have seen in my 20 years in politics.”

He criticized Republican objectors as trying “to undermine our democracy” and of engaging in “political theater.”

Ryan said Congress will certify the election results and Biden will be sworn in as president Jan. 20.

Trump has failed in dozens of attempts to get courts — including the U.S. Supreme Court, which includes three of his nominees — to overturn the results of the election that saw him lose the electoral vote to Biden 306 to 232. Biden also won the popular vote by more than seven million over Trump.

Johnson, a Trump supporter, said: “The Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media hide behind bullying, spin and carefully crafted talking points to distract” from supposed voter fraud.

Johnson only mentioned Pennsylvania in his statement on objecting, but said he could add other states when today’s certification is held. If he only objects to Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, Johnson would still agree with the results in other states that gave Biden more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

NO CHANCE

With Democrats holding a majority in the House and enough Senate Republicans — including Ohio’s Rob Portman — saying they won’t object, there is no chance the results of the election will be overturned.

“I do not take this action lightly, and I take no comfort in it,” Johnson said. “And despite some of the liberal news media spin, very few people want to overthrow the results of a legitimate presidential election. But a majority of Americans, including me, want to ensure the integrity of future presidential elections. The Constitution gives Congress a role to play in this regard and I intend to do my constitutional duty.”

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. David Joyce, R-Bainbridge, couldn’t be reached Tuesday on the Electoral College issue. But Joyce, whose district includes part of Trumbull County, hasn’t announced he would object to the certification.

Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, said he wouldn’t object to the electoral count. He said he supported Trump’s efforts to seek recounts and legal challenges and that there were instances of voter fraud and irregularities, but they weren’t “widespread enough to change the result of the election. This was the finding of numerous Republican-appointed judges and the Trump administration’s own Department of Justice.”

Portman said he would support the state certifications “and the will of the people.”

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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