Florida Sen. Rick Scott signaled he will likely vote against certifying Pennsylvania’s slate of electors.
The Republican and close ally of President Donald Trump issued a lengthy statement ahead of certification of the Electoral College, which Democrat Joe Biden won with 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. Scott signaled sympathy to many criticisms leveled by Trump against election officials in the swing states won by the Democrat.
“During today’s proceedings, I will listen to any and all objections that are raised,” he said. “I will pay careful attention to the evidence and arguments presented by both sides.”
But he made clear he walks in with skepticism about at least one state requiring legitimacy of the election.
“The situation in Pennsylvania is of particular concern to me, and I will likely vote to sustain the objection to their slate of electors,” Scott said. “The actions of the Governor’s Administration and the courts in Pennsylvania pose a serious threat to the integrity of future elections. The Democrat Governor of Pennsylvania, along with state courts, made a decision to allow votes to be counted that came in after election day, even if they did not have a postmark, in defiance of state law. This is absurd and cannot be tolerated.”
Notably, arguments about whether votes received after the election should be counted were central to legal fights about Scott’s own defeat of Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018. Scott prevailed in those arguments as Florida law requires all mail-in ballots to arrive in elections offices by the time polls close on Election Day.
“It also appears that Pennsylvania enacted policies in direct conflict with its own state constitution, which is also unacceptable,” Scott said. “We simply cannot tolerate partisan political attempts to change the rules and tip the scales in our elections. In October, Supreme Court Justices (Samuel) Alito, (Neil) Gorsuch and (Clarence) Thomas warned that the reckless actions of Pennsylvania’s Governor and Secretary of State might result in ‘serious post-election problems’ and they were right.” Both of these matters are still pending at the United States Supreme Court and it would be prudent for Congress to object to Pennsylvania’s electors until these important constitutional questions are resolved.”
Scott also suggested Democrats wrongly characterized challenges to electors as anti-democratic when objections were raised in 2017 to Trump electors and in 2001 and 2005 to electors for George W. Bush, including objections to Florida’s slate after the 2000 election.
“Democrats who are arguing that Republicans fighting to protect the integrity of every vote are a threat to democracy are the same people who tried to overturn the election of Donald Trump every day since he was sworn into office after winning legitimately in 2016,” Scott said. “Democrat efforts to impeach President Trump — aided by their allies in the media — were a political coup attempt, an illegitimate effort to remove a President from office because Democrats didn’t like the result of the election.”