Unconstitutional Electoral Vote Challenge

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Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) have just issued a challenge to the Ohio electoral votes. They interrupted a time-honored tradition of the gathering of both houses of Congress to count the electoral votes, forcing a two-hour debate in each house before returning to complete the count. The grounds were election problems in Ohio in terms of determining which electors Ohio sent to vote in the federal count. That's a legitimate issue that can be raised in Ohio, though I think it's fairly clear that there's no evidence that Kerry could have won with a more accurate counting. Even if he could have and there were real reason to worry about this, it's unconstitutional to raise that objection at this stage. The House and Senate have a duty to count the electoral votes, i.e. those votes sent to the House and Senate by the electors selected by each state. Each state has the responsibility to make sure that its electors are legally selected. Once these electors are selected, the House and Senate have the duty of counting their votes, not the votes of individuals in states that used state-ordained means to select which electors will be voting. The only objections that are therefore constitutional here have to do with whether the electors chosen by the states were counted up properly, not whether the state's election laws were followed properly in selecting those electors. The latter issue 's a state concern. In light of its complete unconstitutionality, this is a waste of time in the middle of important Senate hearings on cabinet appointments. The senator and representative who issued this challenge should be ashamed of themselves.

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