FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — When asked who won the presidential election, Congressman Jim Banks (R, IN3) does not hesitate.
“It’s clear at this point that Joe Biden is the President Elect and will likely take office and be inaugurated on January 20th,” Banks said.
So why does he plan to protest some of the results on Wednesday when Congress gathers to count Electoral College votes for president?
“The Constitution is very clear about how federal elections are conducted,” Banks said.
Banks contends the Constitution explicitly says presidential electors must be appointed according to rules established by each state’s legislature. When governors or election boards changed rules during the pandemic, those changes were unconstitutional.
“For my part, I will vote to uphold the Constitution and send a message to states that they must adhere to our founding document’s instructions – so I will vote against certification in disputed states,” he posted on Facebook.
Votes for other candidates are not held to such a high standard, which is why he does not dispute results in other races or from the Indiana primary.
Banks also says by protesting Wednesday, he’s following the wishes of the third district. He tells WANE 15 more than half of the “tens of thousands” of responses to his email poll are in favor of the protest.
Banks says this is not new territory. Democrats made similar moves in 2005 to protest alleged voting irregularities in Ohio in 2004. Senator Barbara Boxer of California led the effort. John Kerry had already conceded by that time.
“What’s important to me is, first and foremost, this never happens again. I believe Wednesday is a huge step toward ensuring that we return the integrity and preserve the integrity of our election system and tell those states who unconstitutionally conducted their elections that there is a price to pay,” Banks said. “The American people are watching, in hopes that their state legislators go back and and review how their elections were conducted.”
Updated to clarify the 2005 protest vote by Congressional Democrats.