Donalds to object to presidential election certification
Republican Congressman says several states violated their constitutions due to pandemic
Congressman Byron Donalds (R-Naples), elected this past November to represent Lee County and Collier County, announced he intends to join a group of other Republicans in objecting to the certification of the presidential election in the House of Representatives on Jan. 6.
Donalds, who was sworn into his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday, announced his plans in a Facebook post on Dec. 31.
“On behalf of the people of Florida’s 19th Congressional District who elected me to serve them in Congress, I will object to the certification process on January 6th and will ask legitimate questions to restore our faith in our election system,” Donalds stated in the post.
In his post, Donalds accused Pennsylvania and other states of not following the U.S. Constitution in how they carried out their elections.
“A free and fair election is key to protecting our Congressional Republic,” Donalds stated.
In a phone interview on Tuesday, Donalds said he was objecting to the way several states handled their election in violation of their state constitutions including Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Donalds focused on the decision in Pennsylvania to allow mail-in ballots to be counted that were received after election day was a violation of the state constitution even though it had been upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court. Donalds said the state also weakened postmark requirements.
He said the signature verification process was weakened in Georgia and said Michigan misapplied its state law through the issuance of absentee ballots.
Although dozens of court challenges to the election results in several states were dismissed, Donalds said those were based on procedural grounds and not the evidence. “I personally believe the courts punted,” Donalds said.
“The real question is do you allow for the violation of election law just because there is a pandemic?”
Donalds said that by doing so, “you then have a banana republic.”
Donalds said he expected a “very extended process” on Wednesday as Republicans planned to object to the certification process. Donalds said he expected the objections to occur as state delegations were called on and said the process could last through the night.
The latest statements by Donalds follows previous statements he made in support of a failed lawsuit by Texas challenging the presidential election results in several other states. That suit, rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, was also backed by more than 100 Republicans in Congress and joined by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
On Monday, Donalds posted a statement on Facebook accusing Democrats in the House of “mob rule” for the proposed rules package of procedures for the Congress, which he called “shoddy.”
Donalds replaced Francis Rooney in representing the 19th Congressional District. Rooney did not run for re-election. In contrast to Donalds, Rooney quickly congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory over President Donald Trump in November and urged the nation to unite.
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) issued a statement on Monday from his office that he is “reviewing his options and will announce his decision at the appropriate time.”