News Briefs

Missouri GOP lawmakers call on battleground states to investigate 2020 election results

By: - December 10, 2020 7:27 am

In this photo illustration a pencil lies on a U.S. presidential election mail-in ballot received by a U.S. citizen living abroad that shows current U.S. Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

With the Nov. 3 presidential election more than a month ago, over half of Missouri’s Republican state representatives — including the incoming speaker of the House — are calling on Congress to refuse to certify six battleground states’ electoral college votes unless they investigate their results.

Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake St. Louis, during debate in the Missouri House on Nov. 10, 2020 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel/House Communications).

Rep. Justin Hill, a Republican from Lake St. Louis, filed a non-binding resolution Thursday declaring that the Missouri House has a “lack of faith” in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin’s presidential election results.

Hill believes lawmakers of those states must call themselves into a special session in order to investigate their respective results and, if necessary, appoint new members of the Electoral College.

All six states’ election results were in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

Hill’s call was outlined in a letter Wednesday to outgoing House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield. He was joined by 66 other Republican lawmakers, including incoming House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold.

Haahr referred Hill’s resolution to the House Special Committee on Government Oversight, which is scheduled to hold a hearing at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Because it is a purely symbolic, with no force of law, neither the Senate nor the governor will be involved with Hill’s resolution.

“We are the Show-Me State. Let us demand other states show Missouri that fraud did NOT change the outcome,” Hill’s letter read.

Last month, officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s division that oversees election security said there had been “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Last week U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced that the Justice Department has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, despite President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless claims otherwise.

Rep. Keri Ingle, a Democrat from Lee’s Summit, said it’s up to those making the allegations to prove them and questioned the weight such a resolution would hold.

“Do you think we have the authority to do that?” Ingle replied to Hill on Twitter. “Do blue states have the ability to call us into special session?”

Missouri’s own electors are expected to meet Monday at the Missouri Capitol to cast their votes for the president and vice president, and are “bound by honor” to vote for the winners of the state’s popular vote, according to a news release from the governor’s office. Trump easily won Missouri’s 10 electoral votes, leading by about 15.4 points over Biden.

Hill’s letter comes on the heels of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme court to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt was among 17 attorneys general who threw their support behind the legal challenge Wednesday, which claims that changes to election procedures amid the pandemic violated federal law.

Legal experts told The Texas Tribune that Paxton’s challenge faces an uphill battle, and attorneys general of the states being challenged have said the lawsuit is a “publicity stunt” and “a waste of tax dollars.”

Schmitt is scheduled to meet with the president Thursday.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, pilloried both Schmitt and the House GOP for seeking to “invalidate the lawful votes of other states in a ludicrous attempt to steal the presidential election for Donald Trump.”

“Their actions cannot be dismissed as mere partisan scheming and are dangerous to the integrity of our entire system of government,” Quade said. “This is insanity on a fast track to dystopian nightmare.”

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Tessa Weinberg
Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covered education, health care and the legislature with the Missouri Independent. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She also covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.