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After violence at the Capitol, Idaho Sens. Crapo, Risch reject challenge to electoral votes
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After violence at the Capitol, Idaho Sens. Crapo, Risch reject challenge to electoral votes

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BOISE — Western Idaho’s Rep. Russ Fulcher objected to Electoral College votes late Wednesday after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced Congress to delay certifying the presidential election.

The other three members of Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation voted to certify the election. Rep. Mike Simpson and Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo voted against the objections to two states’ electoral votes, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Risch and Crapo joined all but the six GOP senators who supported the challenge.

The House and Senate resumed a joint session late Wednesday night to count the remaining electoral votes. Early Thursday, they crossed the 270-vote threshold to certify the victory by Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The final vote was 306-232.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spearheaded the objection to Arizona’s electoral votes shortly before thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress to delay the certification of the Electoral College count. The Senate struck down the objection in a 93-6 vote, and many Senate Republicans reversed course after the violence.

The House voted 303-121 vote to reject the objection to Arizona’s votes.

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Idaho’s delegates remained silent throughout much of the debate.

Fulcher, who said he would object to some states’ electoral count, was the only Idaho delegate who had publicly indicated how he would vote ahead of the certification process.

In a statement released after the Senate vote, Crapo warned that undercutting the system in place would remove states’ authority to decide where their Electoral College votes go and “diminish Idaho’s role in electing future presidents” — an outcome he said has been “sought for years, but it would be a serious mistake.”

“Any effort by Congress to abandon the Electoral College’s constitutional significance for states to certify and send their Electors would set a dangerous precedent I cannot support,” Crapo said in his statement.

Risch said in a news release that Wednesday’s riot was “unpatriotic and un-American in the extreme” and an attempt to disrupt a process “at the heart of democracy.”

“The business we conducted today showed there is deep distrust in the integrity and veracity of our elections,” Risch said. “We need to restore American’s faith in our voting process. I am committed to pursue that so all of America has the benefit of what we enjoy in Idaho — solid confidence in the outcome of our elections.”

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