Rep. Lee Zeldin was one of 147 Republicans who voted against certifying election results after a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He brought up some lesser-known history in a recent news conference.
In the past few decades, there have been Democratic objections to counting a state’s electors in the House of Representatives every time a Republican was elected president, said Zeldin, who is campaigning to unseat Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“Do you know that every Jan. 6, every four years, whenever any Republican has been elected president over the course of the last few decades, same date, same time, same place, we have had Democrats on the floor of the House of Representatives, objecting and debating?” Zeldin said Sept. 6. “All sorts of different objections, that’s been our process.”
Zeldin voted against certifying the results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, which showed that Joseph R. Biden beat Donald J. Trump. He is among the 139 House members and eight senators who voted against certifying results from one or two states. There has been no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election in any state.
We wondered if Zeldin’s claim about Democrats’ past objections to certifying election results is correct.
Federal law calls for the U.S. Congress to meet at 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 following the meeting of electors to certify the election results. The electoral votes of each state are read in alphabetical order. During that meeting, the president of the Senate “shall call for objections, if any.” Each objection must be made in writing, with the signature of at least one member of the House and one senator.
Attempts to object to election results have been made in some fashion by House Democrats in 2001, 2005, and 2017, following the successful campaigns of George W. Bush and Trump, both Republicans. One senator supported the objection in 2005, though the Senate and the House ultimately did not uphold that objection.
Unlike Republican objections in 2021, Democratic objections in the 2000s happened after the losing candidate had conceded. In 2021, Trump did not concede until the evening of Jan. 7, and he had been plotting to remain in the White House. A group of House Republicans had met with Trump in the Oval Office in December 2020 to plan for Jan. 6, 2021, and to discuss how Trump could stay in office. …
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Radio story produced by Sean Saldana