Despite an objection by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Wisconsin’s electoral college votes were accepted by a joint session of Congress early Thursday morning. The effort to block Wisconsin’s votes failed when no member of the U.S. Senate joined in the objection.
Wisconsin was the final state’s election President Donald Trump hoped would be successfully contested by Congress, but like all of the other battleground states Wisconsin’s votes were counted, too. The result of the count by Congress, normally just a formality, was the election of former Vice President Joe Biden as President of the United States. Biden will take office on January 20 at noon.
The certification by Congress of the Electoral College vote followed a day of rioting by supporters of Trump after he led them in a rally and encouraged them to march to the Capitol. Congress interrupted their session when Trump’s supporters overwhelmed the Capitol police and stormed the building.
Four people died in the rioting.
Republican members of Congress had expected to challenge more states’ election results, but the aftermath of the riot and invasion of the Capitol suppressed the desire by many Republicans to continue the election fight on behalf of a president that was widely seen as inciting the violence. Even Trump’s statement calling for peace was questioned when he also included claims without evidence that he understood the rioting because the presidential election was “stolen.”
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson had previously stated that he would vote for the objections to several state’s election results, claiming he wanted a special commission to investigate the 2020 presidential election. Johnson and his fellow senators claimed that the commission would be modeled after a commission created after the contested 1876 election. That commission led to a compromise that allowed the election of a Republican president, the removal of Union forces from the Confederacy, and the end of Reconstruction leading to the creation of Jim Crow laws.
After the riot on Wednesday, Johnson decided against joining in the objections to the election outcomes in the contested states.
However, Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI7) followed through on his promise to vote to object to the election outcomes in the battleground states that Trump lost. Tiffany was joined by his fellow Wisconsinite, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI5) in voting to object to the electoral votes cast by Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Tiffany previously signed onto a Texas lawsuit with Gohmert to throw out the election results in Wisconsin due to alleged violations of our state’s election laws. The lawsuit was heavily criticized by conservatives because, as its premise, it assumed another state could tell a state how to interpret its own laws.
Wisconsin’s other Republicans in Congress supported accepting the election results. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI8) had previously stated that he was not going to join in the objections to the election results in states which Trump lost. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI1) and Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI6) did not make their decisions known prior to the votes, but they, too, voted to accept the electoral votes from the states that were challenged.