Rep. Troy Balderson won’t join efforts to challenge election results

Local News

Trump supporters walk past the Dome of the Capitol Building in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Rep. Troy Balderson said he will not join the efforts of some Republicans in Congress to challenge and possibly overturn the outcome of the presidential election.

Balderson is a Republican whose district includes parts of Franklin and Delaware counties and all of Licking County. In a statement Wednesday morning, hours before Congress was scheduled to meet, he said the Constitution only permits Congress to count Electoral College votes and declare the winner.

“There is no final step in this process that allows Congress to intervene in the outcome,” Balderson said. “Congress is charged with counting the Electoral College votes and declaring that the person having the greatest number of Electoral College votes shall serve as President.”

Balderson said he has supported Trump and his agenda. Some fellow Republicans, including Rep. Jim Jordan — whose district includes Union County — said they will challenge the outcome that Trump lost re-election to Democrat Joe Biden. After Trump unsuccessfully pressed legal challenges in several states, the final step in the election process before Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 is Congress declaring the winner.

Here is Balderson’s full statement:

“On January 3, I took an oath before God to uphold the Constitution of the United States. That document and its amendments not only guide, but also dictate, my vote on the matter of certifying the results of the 2020 president election.

“It is my strong belief, and reading of the Constitution, that Congress does not have the authority to overturn elections, nor to overrule decisions made in state or federal courts. I support this limitation of power; without it we would dismantle the foundations installed by our Founding Fathers and be left with a system for choosing the President based on the political whim of whichever party controls the Congress.

“I strongly supported President Trump and the Administration’s agenda, which strengthened our nation and empowered Americans, and I worked hard to ensure his re-election. The State of Ohio joined me in supporting his election resoundingly. However, a majority of voters in several other states did not.

“There are both legitimate concerns and purported claims of irregular activities surrounding the results of this election. Numerous legal challenges to the outcome of this election have run their course through the proper channels over the last two months. None of these challenges has provided evidence pointing to widespread fraud that would change the outcome of this election.

“In the interest of protecting our election system from further abuses, I am committed to seeing that claims of fraud and irregularities continue through appropriate legal review and that Congress plays a proper investigative role to examine these claims and take proper action to avoid future misdeeds and mistrust. Any further remedy is outside the authority of Congress.

“The Constitution specifies that the People have the power to select the President, for state legislatures to enact rules governing elections, and for disputes to be litigated in state and federal courts. Today, we are bound by the decisions made by state legislatures and courts regarding the states in question.

“There is no final step in this process that allows Congress to intervene in the outcome. Congress is charged with counting the Electoral College votes and declaring that the person having the greatest number of Electoral College votes shall serve as President. For this reason, and my strong belief in the principles of federalism in which states’ rights supersede all others, I will not challenge the certification of the election of Joe Biden as President of the United States. To do otherwise would imperil states’ rights and render the Electoral College meaningless.

“America is the greatest country in the history of the world, and I take my duty to defend our Constitution and the powers vested in our branches of government sincerely to heart and mind. For as much as I had hoped that Donald Trump would continue as President for the next four years, I cannot take a vote that will set a precedent with long-term ramifications that tear at the fabric of our Republic.

“In this trying time, may God continue to bless the United States of America.”

Rep. Troy Balderson

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