ARIZONA NEWS

US Rep. Paul Gosar objects to Electoral College votes for Biden in Arizona

Jan 6, 2021, 11:34 AM | Updated: 2:06 pm
(NPR Screenshot)...
(NPR Screenshot)
(NPR Screenshot)

PHOENIX — Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection Wednesday to the 11 Electoral College votes in Arizona for President-elect Joe Biden.

It was an expected move from Gosar and Texas Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who support President Donald Trump’s claim that widespread fraud helped propel the Democratic Biden to the White House victory.

Gosar’s objection was met with a round of applause from the Republican side of the chamber.

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, who also said he was going to object to Arizona’s result, spoke on the House floor about why he supported Gosar’s move.

“The debate of the legitimacy of the 2020 election has been suppressed by the left and the members of the media until today,” Biggs said.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona argued that Gosar’s challenge had no merit.

“Today’s challenge to Arizona’s election fails any factual analysis,” Sinema said.

Republican objections could force multiple votes in the GOP-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House that will likely fail. More than a dozen GOP senators have said they won’t support the challenges and plan to vote against them.

Since the objection occurred, the joint session was suspended and the House and Senate went into separate sessions to consider it for up to two hours. For the objection to be sustained, both chambers must agree to it by a simple majority vote. If they do not both agree, the original electoral votes are counted with no changes.

This process repeats each time there is an objection, and could go all night and into Thursday.

The last time such an objection was considered was 2005, when Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, both Democrats, objected to Ohio’s electoral votes, claiming there were voting irregularities. Both the House and Senate debated the objection and easily rejected it. It was only the second time such a vote had occurred.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is presiding over the proceedings, released a statement Wednesday saying he would follow the process of counting the Electoral College votes.

Pence has a largely ceremonial role, opening the sealed envelopes from the states after they are carried in mahogany boxes used for the occasion, and reading the results aloud. But he was under growing pressure from Trump to overturn the will of the voters and tip the results in the president’s favor, despite having no legal power to affect the outcome.

“Do it Mike, this is a time for extreme courage!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Biden’s win by about 10,000 votes in Arizona was the first for a Democrat in the state since 1996.

Biden, who won the Electoral College 306-232, is to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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(AP Photo/Julio Cortez) 
              Members of the U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team walk through the Rotunda as they and other federal police forces responded as violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol today, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
            
              People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
            
              Members of the National Guard arrive to secure the area outside the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
            
              FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nation’s capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
            
              Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and trash strewn across the floor in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
            (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Protesters supporting U.S. President Donald Trump break into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump.  Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building during demonstrations in the nation's capital.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) Thousands of Donald Trump supporters gather outside the U.S. Capitol building following a "Stop the Steal" rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. A large group of protesters stormed the historic building, breaking windows and clashing with police. Trump supporters had gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) 
              Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
            Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Papers and gas masks are left behind after House of Representatives members left the floor of the House chamber as protesters try to break into the chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Police keep a watch on demonstrators who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Members of congress run for cover as protesters try to enter the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he appears on a screen during a rally on the National Mall on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Protesters interact with Capitol Police inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump surround the U.S. Capitol following a rally on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) 
              Trump supporters gather on the Washington Monument grounds in advance of a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his baseless claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: President Donald Trump greets the crowd at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he appears on a screen during a rally on the National Mall on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Samuel Corum)

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US Rep. Paul Gosar objects to Electoral College votes for Biden in Arizona