PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2021 


President Biden aims to put the U.S. in a leadership role on climate change, and the pandemic shines a spotlight on regional food supply chains.


2021Talks - April 19, 2021 


President Biden will announce a new 2030 emissions target, George W. Bush urges more respectful conversation on immigration, and the Giffords Center ranks Indiana's gun policies low, despite their "red flag" law.

Political Theater? Ohio GOP Split on Electoral-Vote Challenge

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has been a vocal opponent of the 2020 presidential election results. (GageSkidmore/Flickr)
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has been a vocal opponent of the 2020 presidential election results. (GageSkidmore/Flickr)
 By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH - Producer, Contact
January 6, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Congress meets today to count states' electoral votes, and possibly never before has this ceremonial process received so much attention.

A dozen Republican senators and 140 House members, including a few from Ohio, plan to challenge President Donald Trump's loss in key battleground states. While the effort is not unprecedented, University of Dayton political-science lecturer Dan Birdsong contended that its scale is noteworthy.

"It kind of questions the motivation behind these individual legislators, because it doesn't look like it can change the outcome. It looks more like political theater," he said. "If it clearly was to support democracy, it wouldn't be so partisan."

The challenge would have to pass in both the U.S. House and Senate. While Birdsong said he believes instances of fraud and irregularities did occur, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has said he won't support the challenge. Among Ohio's Republican House members, Jim Jordan of Champaign County and Bob Gibbs of Holmes County have said they'll challenge the vote count. Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River has said he'll oppose; and the remaining seven have not made an official declaration.

Vice President Mike Pence also is facing pressure to take a "last stand" on Trump's behalf and reject some states' results. However, Birdsong said that isn't something Pence can do as Senate president.

"The most agreed-upon analysis is that the role of vice president is to open up the certified votes from the various states, and then they're to be counted - that he doesn't have independence in selecting some over the others," Birdsong said. "That's not part of his power in this process."

In order for the country to heal moving forward, Birdsong said he believes Americans will need to better understand that equality, liberty and other common political values don't look the same for all people.

"In political discussions, the fear of having the discussion is, in part, one of the problems that we're having," he said. "We're not even engaging in a conversation about what a free and fair election should look like with someone who doesn't necessarily agree, someone from the opposing party."

Today's joint session of Congress is to begin at 1 p.m. EST.

---

This story was produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.

Best Practices