ELECTION 2020

Ashley Hinson sees 'narrow role' for Congress in determining election outcome

Representative-elect Ashley Hinson (R-IA), left, stands next to Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), right, during the swearin
Representative-elect Ashley Hinson (R-IA), left, stands next to Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), right, during the swearing-in of the opening of the new 117th Congress on Capitol Hill on January 3, 2021 in Washington DC. (Ken Cedeno/Sipa USA/Sipa via AP Images)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Freshman Iowa 1st District Congresswoman-elect Ashley Hinson, who has said she sees no path to victory for President Donald Trump, expects there will be objections Wednesday to accepting the results of the Electoral College.

The Constitution, she said Monday, gives Congress a “very narrow role” in the election process.

“Our job is to formally count the votes cast by our electors,” she said in a post on her congressional Facebook page.

“I expect there will be debate on results from multiple states,” Hinson wrote. “Many Americans across the country felt their votes weren’t counted in this election while illegal ones were. Thankfully, this did not happen in Iowa.”

However, at least 12 senators and more than 100 House members have indicated they will object to certifying the Electoral College results. The Electoral College gave President-elect Joe Biden 306 votes to 232 for Trump.

“I look forward to engaging in this debate and beginning the critical process of restoring faith in our elections,” Hinson said.

In earlier conversations with reporters, Hinson has indicated that despite her support of Trump, she has accepted the Electoral College results.

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Although Trump carried Iowa and its six Electoral College votes, “unfortunately, I don’t see a path for him to serve the second term that I think he deserves,” she said last week.

“Faith in the electoral system is the absolute priority,” she told reporters last week. 2020 was a “chaotic election cycle, to say the least ... and I think most people are really concerned about their votes counting. They want to make sure their vote counted (and) illegal votes didn’t.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who was elected in Iowa’s 2nd District, believes arguments for decertifying the election “must reach the highest standards,” according to her Deputy Chief of Staff Austin Harris.

“Her guiding principles are to protect the integrity of the Electoral College, support states’ rights (federalism), and support the original intent of the Constitution,” he said in a statement. “She understands the precedent decertification would set for future elections.”

Hinson drew parallels between Trump’s situation and that of Miller-Meeks, who has been seated in the House provisionally. Democrat Rita Hart, who ran against Miller-Meeks in the open-seat 2nd District race, has petitioned to have the House overturn the election. After recounts in the 24 counties of the 2nd District, the state certified that Miller-Meeks was the winner by six votes.

“The courts are where electoral disputes should be resolved” rather than in Congress, Hinson said.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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