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Herrell joins bid to challenge certification of election results

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Yvette Herrell addresses a crowd Jan. 31 at the Republican Party of Chaves County's pre-primary convention in Roswell. Herrell, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District last November, said she will be among the Republicans who will object to the certification of the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. Members of the U.S. House and Senate are set to meet Jan. 6 in a joint session of Congress to certify the vote results. (Daily Record File Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

U.S. Representative-elect Yvette Herrell said she will be among a group of House Republicans who seek to challenge the Electoral College results next week.

Herrell, who in November defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in the race for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, and is set to be sworn in Sunday, stated Thursday in a Facebook post she will vote against certifying the results for president and vice president in the 2020 election.

“Millions of Americans feel like the election was not conducted with integrity and fairness. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, it is my duty to ensure that legitimate concerns over the integrity of the presidential election are thoroughly heard and examined,” the message posted on her campaign Facebook account stated.

In her post, Herrell said she hopes that her vote will draw attention to what she alleges are “numerous cases of irregularities and unlawful procedures used by several state governments during the election.”

Echoing arguments that attorneys for President Donald Trump’s campaign have made numerous times in court, Herrell said she is concerned governments in several battleground states took action without the approval of their state legislatures to alter election procedures such as extending absentee ballot deadlines, sending out ballots to registered voters who did not request them and relaxing some other requirements amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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Both houses of Congress will meet Jan. 6 to formally tally and approve the results during a joint session. According to the Congressional Research Service, if any objection to certifying a given state’s electoral votes is made in writing and endorsed by at least one member of both the House and Senate, the session is suspended and members of both houses return to their respective chambers to separately debate, and based on that objection, decide by a simple majority whether to count those votes.

According to the Hill newspaper, Herrell is among 34 current or incoming House Republicans who — along with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley — have pledged to vote against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win over President Trump.

Biden defeated Trump by an electoral vote margin of 306 to 232 in November’s presidential election. And although state election officials and the U.S. Justice Department found that voter fraud did not happen to a degree that would have changed the outcome of the election, Herrell and others have questioned its legitimacy.

Marg Elliston, chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, in a statement blasted Herrell, accusing her of spreading misinformation about the election, and putting her own opinions over the will of the voters.

“Southern New Mexicans deserve a congresswoman who will focus on meeting their needs, instead of putting her beliefs ahead of theirs. Unfortunately, Ms. Herrell has shown far too often throughout her career that she is willing and ready to put herself before New Mexicans,” Elliston said.

Lonna Atkeson, a professor of political science and the director at the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy, said that in 2005, an objection was made against certifying the results of the 2004 presidential election, in which President George W. Bush defeated Democrat John Kerry.

That objection, endorsed by California Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, was made by a member of the U.S. House regarding alleged voting irregularities in Ohio, and is an example that Herrell cited when announcing her support for objecting to certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

That effort in 2004 fell short and given that Democrats hold a majority in the House and Republicans are divided over the move, Atkeson said she thinks it is very unlikely that such an effort to reverse the results of the election will succeed.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301 or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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