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Pence: I Do Not Have 'Unilateral Authority' To Determine Which Electoral Votes Are Counted

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In defiance of President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence is expressing that he does not have “unilateral authority” to reject Electoral College votes.

Pence penned a letter to Congress on Wednesday, the day he is presiding over the joint session of Congress where Congress will formally ratify the Electoral College vote. Pence’s role is largely ceremonial. The joint session is expected to be met with challenges from several Republicans.

In the letter Pence writes, “It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”

He also wrote in the letter:

“Some believe that as Vice President, I should be able to accept or reject electoral votes unilaterally. Others believe that electoral votes should never be challenged in a Joint Session of Congress. After a careful study of our Constitution, our laws, and our history, I believe neither view is correct.”

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Noting the Founders and the Constitution, Pence added, “Vesting the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide presidential contests would be entirely antithetical to that design.”

See Pence’s letter below:

The vice president also touched on the “significant allegations of voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” in this year’s election.

Pence wrote in the letter, “As presiding officer, I will do my duty to ensure that these concerns receive a fair and open hearing in the Congress of the United States. Objections will be heard, evidence will be presented, and the elected representatives of the American people will make their decision.”

Additionally, the vice president called on members of Congress to have “humility and faith, remembering the words of John Quincy Adams, who said, ‘Duty is ours; results are God’s.'”

“So Help Me God,” Pence concludes his letter.

Trump has put pressure on Pence, saying this week, “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us,” adding, “Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him quite as much.”

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