As President Donald Trump left the White House Monday evening to head to Georgia, where two special elections will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, Kelly Loeffler, one of the two Republicans there vying to hold onto their seats, announced that she would join a growing party effort to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Congress is expected to vote on Wednesday or early Thursday on whether to certify Biden as the winner of last year’s presidential election — but the usually routine vote has turned into a contretemps for Republicans who must decide whether to defend the country’s election system or give credence to Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud cost him the White House.
And Loeffler, along with Sen. David Perdue, are in the limelight more than most as they attempt to fend off strong Democratic challengers in a state where Biden was the first Democratic White House candidate to win since 1992 and where Trump’s ongoing and unsupported complaints about election fraud have hampered Republicans’ chances.
Loeffler said voters deserve to be “100% confident in our election system and its outcomes.”
“That’s why, on January 6th, I will vote to give President Trump and the American people the fair hearing they deserve and support the objection to the Electoral College Certification process,” she wrote in a statement.
Loeffler joins at least 12 other Republican senators who said they will not vote to certify at least a portion of the results of November’s presidential election. Two other women — Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming — are among those who will also vote to oppose the results.
Despite Trump’s claims for nearly two months now, there has been no evidence that widespread election fraud or voting irregularities existed in any state to the degree it would have impacted the election’s outcome. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that in an hour-long telephone call, Trump pressured Georgia election officials to “find” him enough votes to win the state.
Some Republican lawmakers have made a point to say they will vote to certify Biden’s win. On Sunday, a bipartisan group that included Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — typically two swing votes in a narrowly divided chamber — said “the 2020 election is over” and “it is time to move forward.”
Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia and a Republican, said in a heated press conference on Monday ahead of Trump’s visit that he “wanted to scream” due to frustration with the president’s claims of voter fraud in the state.