Murkowski rejects GOP push to object to Electoral College results

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, pushed back on the dozen Republican lawmakers who have said they will not vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, saying she "swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution."

"I will vote to affirm the 2020 presidential election," Murkowski said in a statement Saturday afternoon. "The courts and state legislatures have all honored their duty to hear legal allegations and have found nothing to warrant overturning the results."

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"I urge my colleagues from both parties to recognize this and to join me in maintaining confidence in the Electoral College and our elections so that we ensure we have the continued trust of the American people."

The senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said they will object to certifying the results from certain states, like Pennsylvania, unless an emergency 10-day audit is completed by an electoral commission.

Cruz, along with other senators claim the November presidential election "featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and illegal conduct."

 "Voter fraud has posed a persistent challenge in our elections, although its breadth and scope are disputed," the lawmakers said Saturday in a statement. "By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes."

The Supreme Court refused two Trump campaign-led lawsuits and over 50 cases have been dismissed in lower courts across the nation.

Former Attorney General William Barr also dismissed repeated claims of voter and election fraud, announcing last month that "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

But the decision to reject the results of the election is splitting the GOP in Congress, with chief Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, advising members of his caucus not to contest the outcome – which saw Biden take a 7 million vote lead in the popular election.

"I'm finishing 36 years in the Senate and I've cast a lot of big votes," McConnell said during a conference call Thursday. "And in my view, just my view, this is will be the most consequential I have ever cast."

McConnell could not be reached for comment on the growing number of GOP senators joining the effort to reject the Electoral College’s votes.

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Though GOP lawmakers in the Senate and the House have said they will contest the election’s results, they have to yet to provide any proof supporting voter fraud – instead pointing to a poll that showed 67 percent of Republicans believe the election was "rigged."

"A fair and credible audit — conducted expeditiously and completed well before January 20 — would dramatically improve Americans’ faith in our electoral process and would significantly enhance the legitimacy of whoever becomes our next president," senators wrote in a joint statement Saturday. "We are acting not to thwart the democratic process, but rather to protect it."

Democrats likewise have pushed back on the calls for an electoral commission, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., calling the demand a "publicity stunt."

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"For a group of my Republican colleagues to claim that they want an additional federal 'commission' to supersede state certifications when the votes have already been counted, recounted, litigated, and state-certified, amounts to nothing more than an attempt to subvert the will of the voters," she said in a statement Saturday.

 "It is undemocratic. It is un-American. And fortunately it will be unsuccessful. In the end, democracy will prevail." 

Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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