Sen. Ted Cruz: Electoral Commission Should ‘Consider the Evidence and Resolve the Claims’

Melanie Arter | January 6, 2021 | 3:42pm EST
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor on Wednesday during debate over the objection to Electoral College votes in Arizona, saying he is not arguing that the election results be set aside. 

“We gather together at a moment of great division, at a moment of great passion. We have seen and no doubt will continue to see a great deal of moralizing from both sides of the aisle, but I would urge to both sides perhaps a bit less certitude and a bit more recognition that we are gathered at a time when democracy is in crisis,” he said. 

Cruz pointed to recent polling that shows 39 percent of Americans believe the 2020 election was rigged.

You may not agree with that assessment, but it is nonetheless a reality for nearly half the country. I would note it is not just Republicans who believe that. Thirty-one percent of independents agree with that statement. Seventeen percent of Democrats believe the election was rigged. 

Even if you do not share that conviction, it is the responsibility, I believe, of this office to acknowledge that it is a profound threat to this country and to the legitimacy of any administrations that will come in the future. 

I want to take a moment to speak to my Democratic colleagues. I understand. Your guy is winning right now. If Democrats vote as a bloc, Joe Biden will almost certainly be certified as the president of the United States.

I want to speak to the Republicans who are considering voting against these objections. I understand your concerns, but I urge you to pause and think. What does it say to the nearly half of the country that believes this election was rigged if we vote not even to consider the claims of illegality and fraud in this election? And I believe there is a better way. The leaders just spoke about setting aside the election.

Let me be clear, I am not arguing for setting aside the result of this election. All of us are faced with two choices, both of which are lousy. One choice is to vote against the objection, and tens of millions of Americans will see a vote against the objection as a statement that voter fraud doesn't matter, isn't real, and shouldn't be taken seriously, and a great many of us don't believe that. 

On the other hand, most if not all of us believe we should not set aside the results of an election just because our candidate may not have prevailed, and for that I endeavor to look for door number three, a third option. 

Cruz’s “third option” is for Congress to appoint an electoral commission to examine voter fraud claims.

“For that, I look to history. To the precedent of the 1876 election. The Hayes Tilden election where this congress appointed an electoral commission to examine claims of voter fraud. Five house members, five senators, five Supreme Court justices examined the evidence and rendered a judgment,” he said.

“What I would urge of this body is that we do the same, that we appoint an electoral commission to conduct a 10-day emergency audit. Consider the evidence and resolve the claims. For those on the Democratic aisle who say there is no evidence, they’ve been rejected, then you should rest in comfort,” Cruz said.

“If that's the case, an electoral commission would reject those claims, but for those who respect the voter, simply telling the voters, ‘Go jump in a lake,’ the fact that they have deep concerns is of no moment to us, that jeopardizes, I believe, the legitimacy of this and subsequent elections,” the senator said.

“The Constitution gives to Congress the responsibility this day to count the votes. The framers knew what they were doing when they gave responsibilities to Congress. We have a responsibility, and I would urge that we follow the precedent of 1877. The Electoral Count Act explicitly allows objections such as this one for votes that were not regularly given,” he added.

Cruz said his argument applies to Arizona as well as all six contested states.

“Let me be clear, this objection is for the state of Arizona, but it is broader than that. It is an objection for all six of the contested states to have a credible, objective, impartial body hear the evidence and make a conclusive determination. That would benefit both sides. That would improve legitimacy of this election, and so let me urge my colleagues, all of us take our responsibility seriously,” he said.

“I would urge my colleagues, don't take, perhaps, the easy path, but instead act together. Astonish the viewers, and act in a bipartisan sense to say, ‘We will have a credible and fair tribunal.’ Consider the claims. Consider the facts, consider the evidence, and make a conclusive determination whether and to what extent this election complied with the Constitution and with federal law,” the senator added.

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