Leading Democrats over the weekend blasted Republican representatives for announcing their intention to object to the Electoral College vote certification on Jan. 6. However, some elected Democrats have objected to certifying Electoral College wins for the presidential contests of 2000, 2004, and 2016 — when Republicans, including President Donald Trump, won the elections.
For the elections of 2000 and 2016, several House Democrats objected to the certification of the results, but were not being joined by any senators. In the case of the 2004 election, however, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA) objected to President George W. Bush’s electoral win.
“Today, for nearly 20 minutes in the cavernous House chamber, a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined by a few sympathizers, tried in vain to block the counting of Florida’s 25 electoral votes, protesting that black voters had been disenfranchised,” The New York Times reported on Jan. 7, 2001. “Florida’s highly contested electoral votes were crucial in Mr. Bush’s victory after a prolonged legal and political battle following an inconclusive election.”
Sen. Boxer and Democratic Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs objected to Bush’s 2004 electoral votes in Ohio, Fox News reported. “That forced the chambers to leave their joint session and debate separately for two hours on whether to reject Ohio’s electoral votes. Neither did. But the objection by Boxer and Tubbs serves as a modern precedent for what is likely to happen in Congress on Jan. 6.”
Fox News emphasized that some of the Democrats now chastising Republican for their intention to object to the 2020 election applauded Boxer for her objection on Jan. 6, 2005, such as Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin:
“Some may criticize our colleague from California for bringing us here for this brief debate,” Durbin said on the Senate floor following Boxer’s objection, while noting that he would vote to certify the Ohio electoral votes for Bush. “I thank her for doing that because it gives members an opportunity once again on a bipartisan basis to look at a challenge that we face not just in the last election in one State but in many States.”
On Jan. 6, 2017, PBS reported at the time, “House Democrats objected to the votes from at least 10 states, raising issues of voter suppression as well as American intelligence showing that Russia tried to sway the election in favor of Trump. In each case, their objections were denied because they didn’t have the support of any senators.”
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (D) even pleaded for a senator to join her in objecting, PBS noted. “Is there one United States senator who will join me in this letter of objection?” Waters urged, to no avail.
An estimated 140 Republicans reportedly plan on objecting to certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, including 100-plus members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are leading a group of 11 senators who will object to the Electoral College results, including Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Steve Daines of Montana, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Braun of Indiana. New senators in the group are Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama,” Syracuse.com reported.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (AR) disagreed with his colleagues, saying Sunday that the upcoming attempt to block certification would “establish unwise precedents.”
“I share the concerns of many Arkansans about irregularities in the presidential election, especially in states that rushed through election-law changes to relax standards for voting-by-mail,” Cotton said in a statement, The Daily Wire reported Sunday. “I also share their disappointment with the election results. I therefore support a commission to study the last election and propose reforms to protect the integrity of our elections. And after Republicans win in Georgia, the Senate should also hold more hearings on these matters. All Americans deserve to have confidence in the elections that undergird our free government.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, has reportedly said that the expected objection “isn’t in the best interest of everybody.”
If a debate is triggered, both chambers would have to “concurrently” agree to sustain the objection, Syracuse.com noted, “but it’s not expected that the Democrat-controlled House and the GOP-led Senate will both do so.