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Miller-Meeks Statement on Certification of Electoral College

January 6, 2021

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, January 6th, 2021, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) issued the following statement regarding the scheduled vote to certify the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election:

Along with many Iowans, I have serious concerns about how elections were conducted in some states and outraged at abuses of the election systems in those states. Such abuses undermine election integrity and trust in the system of that state, and more broadly those actions have affected the presidential election. I share the disappointment of millions of Iowans and Americans with the outcome of the presidential election results. I have suspicions about the integrity of the votes cast in several states, the mass mailing of ballots to every name on the voter rolls which are not up-to-date, the allegations of a lack of a chain of custody of their election materials, and the actions of elections boards and courts assuming authority beyond what is granted to them in a state’s constitution or by their legislatures.

It is why, as a state senator, I voted for changes to our election law that were implemented in the summer of 2020. I supported this legislation so that Iowans could have trust and confidence in their election system and that ballots would be legal and secure. All Iowans and Americans deserve to have confidence in the elections that are the foundation of our free government.

I have listened intently to arguments on each side of the debate on whether to accept or object to the state-certified electors from these states. I function on a set of principles to guide me in how to address these concerns:

Enlisting in the army at 18, I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. My allegiance to and support of the Constitution remains my first guiding principle. Next is support for the electoral college as provided in the Constitution. Then state’s rights and federalism which is the foundation of our republic and again within the Constitution and Federalist Papers. Lastly, I have long advocated for less centralization and consolidation of power within the federal government. This last principle is precisely what President Trump attempted to accomplish during his first four years as president.

The founders entrusted our elections chiefly to the states. As the Constitution pertains to the election of our President, it was entrusted to the people, acting through the Electoral College, and not a hyper-partisan political institution such as Congress. I am concerned that allowing Congress, with its obvious conflict of interest, to pick which electors of which states to certify, that we undermine the Electoral College as provided for in the Constitution to protect the rights and voices of those in less populated and rural states.

I am also concerned about the effect that it would have on the rights of states and the precedent it would establish by putting power in the hands of whichever party controls Congress, and not in the hands of the people who reside in those states or the laws that have been enacted in those states through their legislatures.

I objected when the Democrats attempted to overturn a duly elected president in 2005 and in 2016, and I am concerned that this is a big step towards ending the Electoral College and federalizing election law that has long been a Democrat priority.

I respect that my patriotic colleagues’ actions are principled and based on their interpretation of the Constitution, knowing that it would not change the outcome of the presidential election. And it is for that reason that we desperately need intensive oversight into election irregularities. 

As Republicans, we voted on measures such as providing a federal baseline to ballots cast by mail, signature verification, and the reaffirmation that states have the primary role to run elections, supporting both the concept of federalism and the Electoral College. Adoption of voter ID, which we have passed and secured in Iowa, both on election day and on absentee ballot request forms, also merits consideration and debate.

To me the text of the Constitution is clear: states select electors, Congress does not. As a Member of Congress who wants to limit the power of the federal government, I must respect the states’ authority here. I understand this decision will disappoint and anger my supporters, but I have sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution above myself.

Therefore, I will vote to accept the state-certified electors.
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