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Expert: Contesting Electoral College Results 'Dangerous'


Monday, January 4, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is part of a contingent of Senate Republicans planning to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's presidential election victory. One political expert predicts it won't change the outcome, but could harm democracy.

Johnson and nearly a dozen other members of the Senate have vowed to fight the results when Wednesday's vote takes place. Matt Barreto, co-founder of the UCLA Voting Rights Project, said because the House has to vote as well, the plan isn't likely to succeed.

"They are attempting to use centuries-old loopholes to try to at least make one final stand," Barreto said.

He said it's fairly clear not enough Senate Republicans will participate in the protest to make a difference. But he warned giving a platform to unfounded claims of voter fraud could mean some Americans never acknowledge the presidential election results, and could lead voters to distrust the system in future elections.

Sen. Johnson said his group is protecting the views of voters who don't think Biden's victory is legitimate.

Barreto said it appears GOP lawmakers who have joined the challenge are not doing so because they think it will work. He said it looks like they have other reasons.

"Many of the Republicans who will face reelection in 2022 are nervous about those Trump voters, which appear to be such strong supporters of the president," he said.

He said even the appearance that these lawmakers may be drifting away from supporting President Donald Trump could be harmful to their own reelection chances.

Prior to the certification in Congress, Trump sought a recount in Wisconsin. But that was among the dozens of legal challenges - including several in the Badger State - which ultimately proved unsuccessful in overturning the election results.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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