Twelfth Amendment (Effective 1804): “The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President. . . They shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President. . . and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President. . . and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. 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, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed. . .”
The 12th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1804 to close a loophole that almost allowed Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson’s candidate for Vice-President, to become President by making backroom deals with their opponents.
The Twelfth Amendment of our U.S. Constitution could not be more clear. Vice-President Pence, as President of the Senate, “shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates” of the Presidential Electors. “The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed. . .”
The Constitution does NOT give the Vice-President (President of the Senate) any power to reject or even question any certificates. It does NOT give the Senate or House of Representatives the power to reject or question any certificates.
The Constitution was written that way for a good reason. Our Founders did not want to give a defeated Vice-President, from a defeated party, the power to nullify an election that he or she lost.
Presidential Electors are chosen by the voters of each state, according to the laws of each state. If state election laws or procedures are broken, candidates and citizens in those states must seek relief from law enforcement officers, election officials or courts of that state. If federal election laws are broken, candidates and citizens in thos states must seek relief from federal courts and law enforcement officers.
Last summer, New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy showed how to overturn a rigged, mail-in ballot election in Paterson. Andre Sayegh is the Democratic mayor of Paterson, New Jersey’s third largest city. Sayegh is also New Jersey’s first Arab mayor with close ties to the state’s growing Islamic community. Sayegh’s supporters on city council also the mayor’s plan to have Paterson taxpayers guarantee $38 million of new Wall Street debt for the Passaic County Improvement Authority.
Last May two independent Democrats defeated the establishment Democrats backed by Murphy and Sayegh in a mail-in ballot city election. Murphy and Sayegh Democrats quickly filed suit, and overturned that election.
They did it by comparing signatures on mail-in ballots with those on voter registration forms. They threw out all ballots where signatures didn’t match, or where the certifications on the ballot envelopes were not properly completed, dated, and signed. Establishment Democrats threw out 3,100 ballots, or 22% of the total. Then, they persuaded a judge to throw out the election.
It appears that President Trump’s lawyers never did that. It also looks like they never tried. It appears that President Trump’s lawyers relied on statistical, legal and Constitutional arguments alone. When President Trump made that phone call to Georgia’s top election official last Saturday, he did not raise a single issue that was not known seven weeks earlier. What did Trump’s lawyers and investigators do during the previous seven weeks?
Instead of showing evidence of enough ballots without proper dates or signatures doing the tedious work of comparing signatures and date stamps, ballot by ballot, Trump’s lawyers urged state officials and Vice-President Pence to ignore their laws and the U.S. Constitution by ignoring the certified result of state electors.
Any American who calls him or herself a conservative must understand and respect our Constitution. Vice-President Pence did what the Twelfth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution required him to do. He should be praised, not criticized, for doing that. Mike Pence did his job. President Trump’s lawyers didn’t do theirs.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director