U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., objected to counting Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes hours after a violent mob supporting President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, causing significant damage, leading members of Congress to seek shelter and delaying certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s November victory by nearly six hours.
Teton County Commissioner Mark Barron, a Republican and former Jackson mayor, who served on Lummis’ local campaign committee, declined to comment on her intent to object to Electoral College votes in “disputed states” unless an election audit was conducted.
The senator signed onto a letter with 10 other senators that cited distrust in the electoral system, which arose after Trump and his supporters made repeated, unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in statements and court filings.
“I don’t know what the position was Sen. Lummis took, so I’m not going to comment on that,” Barron told the Jackson Hole Daily on Wednesday after Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol.
Lummis, sworn in Jan. 3 to replace now-retired Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, was the only member of Wyoming’s congressional delegation to support either of the two objections the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives considered. Sen. John Barrasso and Rep. Liz Cheney, both Republicans, voted against objections to results in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Lummis said in a written statement to the U.S. Senate that she supported the objections in Pennsylvania because she was concerned its electoral vote was not “regularly given” under the state’s laws.
“Serious concerns have been raised about the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail statute,” she wrote. “Also, Pennsylvania election law may have been applied unevenly by state officials, including signature verification and voter identification requirements.”
U.S. Rep Mike Kelly, R-Pa., challenged in court a 2019 election law that gave Pennsylvania voters the option to request and cast mail ballots, among other changes. That lawsuit was part of the reason Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., objected to Pennsylvania’s count, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed Kelly’s case on Nov. 28. When Kelly appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the state from certifying election results, the court tersely denied his appeal on Dec. 8.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Lummis said “objecting to the certification of the votes in Pennsylvania was never intended to change the outcome of the election.” Instead, she said, it was “intended to shine a light on serious concerns over voter irregularities raised by Pennsylvania legislators themselves.”
In contrast, Cheney reproached Trump on NBC News on Wednesday for refusing to concede.
“No president has ever failed to concede or agree to leave office after the Electoral College has voted,” Cheney said. “[Trump] will be remembered — this will be part of his legacy — and it is a dangerous moment for the country.”
Barrasso and Cheney both said they would respect the Electoral College’s vote and did so by voting against objections.
Outgoing Sen. Mike Enzi, the longtime Wyoming Republican Lummis replaced, earlier said he respected the results of the vote according to the Casper Star Tribune.
Vice President Mike Pence certified the Electoral College vote, and Biden’s win, shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday.