Press Releases

Simpson Statement on Certification of the Electoral College

Simpson Statement on Certification of the Electoral College

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson issued the following statement concerning the certification of the Electoral College for President of the United States.

“The 2020 elections saw record voter enthusiasm and turnout, all during a global pandemic.  I am heartened to see increased civic engagement of American voters and hope this trend will continue in future elections.  With increased turnout, however, comes increased risk of fraud, and many questions have arisen from the 2020 elections, particularly in six states that rushed to change election procedures soon before Election Day.  Like many Idahoans, I am extremely concerned by these states’ actions, and believe that Congress owes it to the American people to hold an investigation into the 2020 elections.  Only a thorough commission on election integrity and a comprehensive series of hearings can answer all the questions and restore confidence in our nations’ free and fair elections. 

“President Donald Trump has been a champion for Idaho - cutting regulations, supercharging our economy, and enacting historic tax reforms.  I hoped to see him reelected, as did many of my constituents.  While I am disappointed in the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election, I must remain cognizant of the extremely narrow role Members of Congress like myself have in the election process.  The Constitution expressly grants the people of the United States the power to choose the President through the Electoral College, not Congress.  In order to keep power in the hands of the people, Congress’ only Constitutional duty is to count the Electoral College votes sent by the states in accordance with state law.

“As an Idahoan, I take extremely seriously my responsibility to guard the separation of powers which limit the heavy hand of government, and to bolster any process which returns power to the states.  To overturn the results of the Electoral College would be to undermine a body that gives a voice to small states like Idaho.  Let’s not forget, Republican presidential candidates have won the national popular vote just once in the last 32 years and have relied on the Electoral College to make sure that rural America’s voice is heard.  This is precisely why abolishing the Electoral College is top of the Democrats’ wish list.  Objecting to the Electoral College returns is also a step towards the federalization of elections, something that would be devastating for Idaho.

“Ultimately, Congress’ role in Presidential elections, as wisely envisioned by the Founding Fathers, is to count the electors that are chosen by the states, not to judge the merits of these electors.  Of the six states where election processes are contested, five have Republican-led legislatures, and it is up to those bodies to send the appropriate electors for certification.  If the states deem that fraud has resulted in an inaccurate slate of electors, they should have convened to send a new slate, for Congressional counting.  I will not usurp states’ power.  Absent the designation of new electors by the states, Congress’ sole role, as set by the Constitution, is to count and certify the electoral slates that have been presented today, and that is what I voted to do.”