A Republic, if you can keep it


By Congresswoman Carol D. Miller - Special to the Register



The following is an opinion piece by Congresswoman Carol D. Miller (R-WVa), who represents the Third Congressional District. Miller voted not to certify the election results from Arizona and Pennsylvania. This piece was released explaining her decision.

As a member of the House of Representatives, it is my constitutional duty to ensure that all Americans have access to free, fair, and accurate elections.

It is because of this duty, given to me by my constituents and by the Constitution I swore to protect, that I will be voting against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election from certain states. The issue of the legitimacy of our elections is not unique nor one that is new to 2020. Washington Democrats have objected to the electoral votes of every Republican-won presidential election in the past 20 years –from George W. Bush in 2001 and again in 2005, to Donald Trump in 2017.

In 2005, now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the objections “democracy at work”, stating that Democrats’ objection to the universally accepted election results drew attention to “the real problems with our electoral system.” Election fraud, whether intentional or incidental, individual or institutional, undermines the very foundation of democracy that we all hold sacred. Even the appearance or possibility of fraud is entirely unacceptable. Our system should be so transparent and so trustworthy that no American has reason to doubt the strength and legitimacy of the results. If anyone –from the President of the United States, to a candidate, a cable news anchor, or our neighbors at the grocery store –can cast serious doubt on the outcome of an election then that is not a problem with the individual questioning, that is a problem with the system in place.

In 2005, a bipartisan commission co-chaired by former Democrat President Jimmy Carter found that absentee voting has the potential to be the largest source of election fraud. We can all agree that systematic voter fraud is a bipartisan concern very real in America today. It is with this in mind that we must debate the evidence of fraud and the discrepancies in the presidential election of 2020. Secretaries of State, Election Boards, Judges, and other state and local officials should not be, in place of State Legislative bodies, making last minute changes on how their states perform the duty of providing, counting, and certifying ballots.

Article II of the Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to provide the necessary oversight to ensure all ballots cast on Election Day are counted fully, fairly, accurately, and not interpreted through the lens of partisan politics. In states like Pennsylvania the election procedures were out of control. Ballots were not even required to be signed by the person supposedly casting that vote, poll watchers were denied access to observe counting, and ballots cast after election day or without postmarks could still be included. Election results are tainted when unsigned or non-postmarked ballots are conspicuously “found”, creating a system that voters do not have faith in. Regardless of the outcome or impact of those ballots, that type of discrepancy cannot be allowed to happen. There are countless examples of states unlawfully altering election procedures or failing to adhere to the standards laid out in statutes. I am cognizant of the fact that as a country suffering from a pandemic we faced challenges to our election process, but states had ample time to put in place procedures to safely hold elections and count ballots. Election officials may have had good intentions with the execution of the 2020 election, but intentions are not a substitute for secure and legitimate elections.

The results being debated today will not overturn the outcome of the election, but it will provide the opportunity for the United States Congress to ensure our country has free, fair, and accurate elections that generations to come can be confident in. The right to vote is the spirit and promise that America was founded upon, the freedom that so many have fought for, and why I cast my vote in defense of that right today.

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By Congresswoman Carol D. Miller

Special to the Register