Regarding her objection to the certification of the 2020 election, Elise Stefanik said “Article II and the 12th Amendment of the Constitution make clear that I have an obligation to act on this matter if I believe there are serious questions with respect to the presidential election.” That is utter nonsense.
The function of Congress under Article II and the 12th Amendment is purely ministerial. Elise Stefanik’s role as a member of the House of Representatives is simply to witness the count by the president of the Senate of the electors for president that have been duly certified and submitted by each state.
The language of the Constitution that she cites is clear: “The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes for president shall be the president.”
To quote Elise Stefanik’s mentor in Congress, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., “It is difficult to conceive of a more anti-democratic and anti-conservative act than a federal intervention to overturn the results of state-certified elections and disenfranchise millions of Americans.” But that federal intervention is exactly what Elise Stefanik has shamefully said she would support.
As a candidate, Donald Trump and his supporters have exercised their right to challenge the vote in numerous states. And they have lost those challenges over and over again — 60 times in total. If there are “tens of millions” of Americans who continue to believe the election is in doubt, it is because of the drumbeat of baseless accusations and lies, repeated for weeks by the president and disciples like Stefanik who tried to overturn the constitutional basis of our democracy. She is an embarrassment to the north country and its history of honorable Republican representation in Congress. Surely, John McHugh and his predecessors must bow their heads in dismay to see what Trump and Stefanik are doing to their party and its reputation.
Mark A. Scarlett