Rosendale Says He’ll Join Republicans in Opposing Presidential Electors

Montana's at-large representative cites baseless allegations of election fraud as reason for opposing certification

By Tristan Scott
Donald Trump campaigned for State Auditor Matt Rosendale and Rep. Greg Gianforte in Missoula on Oct. 18. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

HELENA — Montana’s lone member of the U.S. House said Tuesday he will join other Republican lawmakers in opposing the certification of presidential electors from “certain disputed states.”

“It is clear that there are widespread, credible allegations of fraud and irregularities in many states, and that these allegations have endangered the American people’s faith in our electoral process,” U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale said in a statement.

State officials have certified their election results as fair and valid, and former U.S. Attorney General William Barr said there was not widespread voter fraud. President Donald Trump and his allies have filed more than 50 lawsuits challenging election results around the country and have lost nearly all of them. None of the lawmakers who say they plan to object to the count have presented credible evidence that would change the outcome.

Congress is set to meet in a joint session Wednesday intended to take the final step in certifying Biden’s win. Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Trump has enlisted support from at least a dozen Republican senators, including U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, and over 100 House Republicans to challenge the vote when Congress considers Biden’s 306-232 win in the Electoral College.

“To restore confidence for Montanans and the American people, I am joining a group of senators to propose an election commission to quickly audit the election results,” Daines said in a news release over the weekend. He said: “the way Americans voted was altered at a scale never before imagined outside what the state legislative process intended.”

Because of the pandemic, states allowed more voting by mail. In Montana, counties were allowed to choose to hold the general election mostly by mail and a majority did. Daines and Rosendale were both on the ballot this year in Montana, where Trump beat Biden. Trump’s campaign and state and national Republican groups made unsuccessful court challenges to Montana’s expanded mail ballot option.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in mid-December warned fellow Republican senators against joining Trump’s challenge to the Electoral College results.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said the party is letting people vote their conscience.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House Republican, warned in a memo to colleagues that objections to the Electoral College results “set an exceptionally dangerous precedent.”

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