Following the completion of President Trump’s legal challenges to the results in multiple states, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans want hearings related to voting irregularities and fraud allegations in an effort to avoid future post-election confusion.
Over two weeks have passed since election night and 11 days since major media outlets called the presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden, but Trump, whose campaign is counting on lawsuits to overturn key states’ election calls, has not conceded the race.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, while generally supporting the president’s right to go through several legal processes, are also preparing for a Biden presidency, which is in the midst of staffing up.
Nevertheless, the GOP is continually astounded by daily allegations about how ballots were handled coming out of the states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, McCarthy revealed he wants top state officials to discuss these issues further on Capitol Hill when the dust settles.
“I want to bring all secretaries of state together after this. I want to make sure that we do not repeat this. This is another reason why someone shouldn’t just declare. It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat. At the end of the day, you want to make sure these races are accurate and fair,” he said.
McCarthy pointed to reports election officials in Michigan covered windows during the ballot count, after GOP and Democratic observers were removed from the TCF Center when the room became overcrowded.
“I’ve been involved in politics a long time. I’ve helped campaigns down to city council races. You always had observers in there. You would want observers in there, and I can’t imagine, moving ballots away or putting [up covers] so someone can’t see,” McCarthy argued.
“We want this open and how we need transparency, regardless of however this election turns out, I think by carrying it out further in all these hearings and others will only make this process better in the future,” he added.
Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy has also called for further discussion when the litigation ends.
“I think it would behoove all of us, and I mean those of us in federal government also, and also in state government, to sit down and let’s talk about what worked and what didn’t work. Mail voting is rather inherently more complex than voting. And first, I’m not saying that, particularly in a time of coronavirus,” he said.
Kennedy added, “People should have the right to mail in their ballot, but a lot more can go wrong with mail voting than with voting in person.”
Republicans may end up feuding with some of their own members over how to go about reforming election laws they see as problematic without mandating how each state conducts its own elections.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn argued, “Most of these issues are handled at the state and local level, and I know that there’s some who would like to make all of our elections run out of Washington, D.C., and there’s no interest in that on our side.”
“I think actually, the dispersed nature of the election system is probably one of the best protections against fraud,” he added.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Lankford, however, noted that states take federal taxpayer dollars to protect their election systems.
“Ultimately states do need to make decisions on their own states, Pennsylvania has made a decision on how they’re doing Pennsylvania law, very different than Oklahoma has elections. We have a secure election system that’s reliable, that’s transparent, they do not,” Lankford explained, “Okay, well, they’ve got to fix their system, ultimately, as a state, but we have spent four years talking about how we protect the integrity of our systems. On the federal side, we give them additional dollars with requirements on it.”
He added, “If we’re gonna have a validated federal election, we already have criteria that’s there to say if you have a federal candidate on the ballot, there are crimes for fraud. There’s a crime for voting for someone else. There’s a crime for systems. There’s additional dollars if you’ll actually implement some of these policies, and some states do, and some states do not.”