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Johnson says he will join those objecting to electoral count

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, announced on Tuesday that he will join a group of Republicans in Congress who are objecting to the count of the Electoral College votes on Wednesday.

Johnson will join dozens of other Republicans around the country whom President Donald Trump has enlisted to challenge the Electoral College vote when Congress convenes in a joint session to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 win.

“On Wednesday, I will support objections to the certification of the Electoral College vote of Pennsylvania, and possibly other states on grounds that they: potentially violated the U.S. Constitution; disregarded their own state election laws; and/or failed to count all legal ballots,” Johnson said in a news release. “The Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media hide behind bullying, spin, and carefully crafted talking points to distract from this fact. But most of the people I represent know the truth – that between the news media acting as the public relations department of the Democrat party, Big Tech’s big thumb on the social media and search results scales, and credible allegations of election fraud in some states, many believe the 2020 election wasn’t fair.”

Johnson said he was taking issue with the system of mail-in voting.

“In 2005, former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker co-chaired a bipartisan commission on election reform,” he said. “Their official report stated that mail-in voting ‘remains the largest source of potential voter fraud.’ Given that 2020 saw more mail-in voting than anytime in American history, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of sworn affidavits that point to instances of potential fraud and election irregularities.”

Lawmakers are being told to arrive early at the Capitol on Wednesday and some are considering sleeping overnight in their offices to ensure they can safely access the building.

Trump, at an evening rally in Georgia on Monday for two GOP senators in runoff elections vowed the electors voting for Biden are “not gonna take this White House!”

Trump’s repeated claims of voter fraud have been roundly rejected by Republican and Democratic election officials in state after state and judges, including justices on the Supreme Court. Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, also has said there is no evidence of fraud that could change the election outcome.

Wednesday’s session is not expecting to change the outcome of the result.

Vice President Mike Pence will be closely watched as he presides over the session. He is under growing pressure from Trump and others to tip the results in Trump’s favor. But Pence has a ceremonial role that does not give him the power to change the outcome.

Johnson’s announcement puts him at odds with the state’s Republican U.S. senator, Rob Portman, who said on Monday that he would not back efforts among members of the Senate Republicans to challenge the results.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report