U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, on Tuesday criticized an attempt by dozens of federal lawmakers, including two from Utah, to challenge the Electoral College vote and said he has “faith in America’s election system and those who work tirelessly to ensure our elections are secure.”
“On January 6, Congress will fulfill its Constitutional mandate to certify the Electoral College results and finalize the presidential election,” Curtis said in a press release. “In recognition of my responsibility in this process, I have studied my role and it is clear to me that I have a duty to speak on behalf of the election process in Utah and listen to any objection raised by my fellow lawmakers concerning their state.
“I have seen no evidence of wrongdoing within Utah and have no plans to object to Utah’s Electoral College certificates,” Curtis continued. “In fact, as I have watched the election process in Utah, I see within it a model for other states across the country.”
The statement from Curtis came after President Donald Trump enlisted the help of Republicans in Congress to challenge the Electoral College vote on Wednesday, when lawmakers will confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 win, according to The Associated Press.
Curtis argued that the U.S. Constitution “grants Congress the specific authority to count electoral votes, not debate the merits of each state’s election laws or the validity of the electors they chose to send,” adding that “to do so would be to federalize the election process, taking fundamental rights away from states.”
“I have consistently opposed when Democrats have made such attempts, and I will not use one standard for my party and a different one for the other,” said Curtis, the former mayor of Provo. “Therefore, I plan to respect each state’s decision, certify the election, and continue to work with my colleagues on solutions for Utahns.”
Curtis’ sentiment is shared by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who on Saturday said the “egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic.”
“The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it,” Romney said in a press release. “More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice. President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed.”
Meanwhile, Reps. Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart, both Utah Republicans, say they will vote against certifying the Electoral College vote on Wednesday.
Fox News reported on Dec. 29 that Owens, who was sworn into office on Sunday, was among a handful of incoming freshmen lawmakers joining in on the challenge. The 4th Congressional District representative later told The Salt Lake Tribune that he “absolutely” believes Trump won the election.
“After serious thought and consideration, I will not vote to certify the election,” Stewart wrote on Twitter. “I believe there are critical questions that need to be answered concerning our Presidential election.”
State officials have reported finding no evidence of voter fraud, and nearly all of the over 50 lawsuits filed to challenge the election results have been dismissed or dropped, according to the AP.