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11 GOP senators join Hawley to challenge Electoral College vote

11 GOP senators join Hawley to challenge Electoral College vote
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walks to the Senate Chambers at the U.S. Capitol on December 16. On Saturday Cruz, with 10 other Republican senators, released a statement saying they plan to challenge the upcoming certification of Electoral College results naming Joe Biden the 46th president. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A group of 11 Republican senators announced Saturday that they will object to the upcoming certification of Electoral College votes and are calling for an emergency audit of the results, joining Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.

"To wit, Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states," said a statement by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. "Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission's findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed."

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The statement is co-signed by Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., James Lankford, R-Okla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Mike Braun, R-Ind., as well as Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Hawley, said earlier this week that he will object to the certification of the Electoral College vote, likely assuring lawmakers will have to go through a brief delay before President-elect Joe Biden is declared the 46th president of the United States.

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To object to any state's certified electoral votes, at least one member from each house must object. Several House Republicans have already said they will and Hawley's statement all but assures the process will now include a brief debate period.

The senators are also asking Congress to appoint an Electoral Commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in disputed states, noting that in 1876 a similar commission -- made up of five representatives, five senators and five Supreme Court justices -- reviewed allegations of fraud in 1876.

The statement goes on to say that on Wednesday, when Electoral College votes are due to be certified, the senators will vote to "reject the electors from disputed states as not 'regularly given' and 'lawfully certified' (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."

RELATED Missouri Sen. Hawley says he'll object to election during Congress' vote count

The Senate certification vote will come one day after two runoff elections in Georgia, which -- if Democrats win both races -- would result in a 50-50 split chamber, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris tie-breaking power.

RELATED GOP Sen. Ben Sasse says Republicans 'playing with fire' by denying Biden win

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