CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)-U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued the below statement on the upcoming vote to certify the results of the Electoral College:
“Americans went to the polls to carry out the most important task in our representative government—they cast ballots to choose their leaders. The opportunity we have as American citizens to control our own government remains a singular privilege.
“Our Constitution makes the American people the ultimate source of power. For self-government to work we must accept the choices that voters make, especially when their verdict conflicts with our own views. In West Virginia, I am proud that our state’s voters overwhelmingly chose Republican candidates. These results came in a free and fair election with a record number of voters making their voices heard.
“Our democracy permits enjoying electoral victories, but its survival requires accepting defeats. Despite a landslide victory in West Virginia, President Trump lost his re-election bid by a margin of 306-232 in the Electoral College. I voted for President Trump in the presidential election, and I wanted him to be re-elected. As a United States Senator, I supported many of his policies over the past four years, and I will continue to advocate for these on behalf of West Virginia—even with a new administration.
“Several of my congressional colleagues have made clear their plans to object to counting certified electoral votes from certain states. I will oppose their effort because the will of voters in each state—not political considerations or the individual preferences of senators and representatives—must determine the winner of the presidential election.
“Some have argued that the electoral votes of several states should be rejected due to fraud. Our Constitution contemplates each state holding its own election and certifying electors who will cast ballots for president. It would be a grave step for Congress to refuse to count electoral votes that are certified by their own state government. At an absolute minimum, I believe that Congress should only consider rejecting the electoral votes certified by a state when there is clear and convincing evidence both that there was misconduct in that state’s election and that the result of the election would have been different absent that misconduct.
“Allegations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election have been investigated by federal and state law enforcement agencies. Investigations have been overseen by governors, secretaries of state, and local election officials of both political parties who ultimately certified election results in their respective states. Multiple lawsuits have been filed in the contested states and have been decided in state and federal courts, to include the Supreme Court, by judges appointed by both Democrats and Republicans. None of these investigations or lawsuits has resulted in evidence of fraud that comes anywhere close to the standard for rejecting a state’s electoral votes.
“Refusing to count a state’s electoral votes in the absence of such evidence would disenfranchise millions of American voters and call into question the very foundation of representative government enshrined in our Constitution. Therefore, I plan to vote to oppose the objections that will be raised and to count the electoral votes that were certified by each state.
“Yesterday when I took office for a new six-year term, I did not swear allegiance to any individual or political party. I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Recognizing the individual chosen by the American people to be our president is in keeping with this oath.
“The 2020 presidential election is over. Our country should unite. We should remember that the values of liberty, freedom, and representative government that unite us as Americans are far more important than our partisan divisions. I will do my best to help move our state and our nation forward as I begin my new Senate term.”