Malliotakis: My goal was not to overturn the election
I want to take this opportunity to respond to Editor Brian Laline’s Jan 8 editorial regarding my votes to oppose voters in Arizona and Pennsylvania for the 2020 presidential election.
First, this process is not new. In fact, Democrats have opposed the electoral votes of every Republican president elected since 1989.
In 2005, while opposing electoral votes in the election of President George W. Bush, the President, like me, declared that “this debate is fundamental to our democracy”. She went on to explain that “the right to vote is sacred; that a representative has the duty to represent his electors; and that the rule of law is the hallmark of our nation.
I agree and I was not alone in this belief; 146 other Republicans, including GOP House leaders Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, cast the same vote, representing about 70% of House Republicans.
The point is that the division in American politics is a major problem today. It was on display when champions of the police fundraising movement hijacked what would have been peaceful protests, when Democrats backed arsonists and looters across America over the summer and when so- saying “patriots” stormed the capital in one of the most disgusting protests in recent history. Americans need to slow down, take a deep breath, and remember the first two words of Laline’s January 8 editorial: “Dear neighbor.
It is the duty of Congress to oversee the certification of electoral votes and to take the lead of the current Speaker of the House in 2005, to have a solid and respectful debate. It is not our duty to simply serve as a rubber stamp.
In this case, the results of Arizona and Pennsylvania were contested and, as case law has established, the objective was not to overturn the election. In fact, had the objections of those two states been passed, President-elect Joe Biden would still have 275 electoral votes, five votes above the threshold to achieve electoral victory.
As Mr. Laline said, “Any thinking American knows that ‘voting irregularities’ exist. He even went further, saying, “Poll workers make mistakes. Yes, the dead sometimes vote. Yes, there are cases of non-citizens entering the voting booth. Yes, postal ballots are mutilated, lost or sent to the wrong people.
Is this something that we Americans should accept?
From her 2005 remarks, President Pelosi and I would say “no”. Americans, including our editor of the Staten Island Advance, recognize that voter fraud exists. I reject the idea that we should simply accept it as part of the American electoral system. Our elections are the most sacred thing in our Democratic Republic. We need to erase these irregularities and improve the system.
Twenty-five days before the certification votes, I joined several of my colleagues in writing a letter to President Pelosi calling for a bipartisan investigation into alleged irregularities and fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The Staten Island Advance wrote about this on December 17, 2020. Our letter and request for an investigation, to date, have been ignored.
Instead of working with Republicans, President Pelosi and other Democrats are pushing for much worse. The president even attempted to include in the COVID-19 relief bill provisions on ballot harvesting, same-day registration, and prohibiting states from having laws on the ballot. voter identification.
Closer to home, Senator Diane Savino was the only local elected official to approve a law that would require “automatic voter registration”. This law would result in the automatic registration on the electoral roll of a non-national, who applies for a New York driver’s license with a foreign ID.
Isn’t it in our best interests to give every American, regardless of political affiliation, peace of mind? If not by an investigation, by a solid conversation on the floor of the House? If Mr. Laline, President Pelosi and I share concerns about this premise – then we should all be behind the Save Democracy Act.
The Safeguarding Democracy Act would improve the integrity of federal elections by addressing three key areas of concern in the 2020 election to remove any doubt going forward. These three areas include securing voter registration by requiring citizenship verification and banning automatic registration by states. It protects the vote by banning states from issuing unsolicited postal ballots and puts an end to questionable harvest tactics. It protects the counting of ballots by requiring that at least two representatives from each presidential campaign observe the ballots and counting operations and prohibits delays or pauses in the counting of the ballots after the count has started. This law allows us to demand accuracy, timeliness and excellence in our elections. These three values are the basis of what I seek to convey to the American people.
Americans need to heal; we have to be respectful of our neighbors and we have to solve the problems that affect us all. With this in mind, I will be an original co-sponsor of the Save Democracy Act to strengthen and secure our elections once and for all. We must not find ourselves in this situation and we must understand that it is more important than party affiliation. Let us come together, wish our President-elect the best and work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that election security is no longer the subject of debate.
(Nicole Malliotakis represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn in the United States House of Representatives.)