In a letter endorsed by his fellow council members, State College Borough Council President Jesse Barlow condemned the two Republican congressmen representing Centre County for ‘turning your back on the voters of State College Borough and the voters of Centre County.”
Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, and Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, are among eight Republican Pennsylvania congressmen who issued a statement last week saying they would object on Wednesday to the final certification of the commonwealth’s presidential electors and Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
‘We, the State College Borough Council, are appalled that you, Centre County’s two representatives in Congress, along with six other members of the Pennsylvania U.S. House delegation have decided to join the effort to subvert the proper counting of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes for the Biden-Harris ticket,’ Barlow wrote
The congressmen claimed Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar ‘circumvented’ the state legislature’s constitutional authority to set election procedure and were aided by a ‘rogue’ Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
They alleged that the integrity of the election was called into doubt by a state Supreme Court order allowing mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day to be received up to three days later; guidance from Boockvar that said counties could allow mail-in voters to ‘cure’ technical problems with ballots by Election Day and relaxed signature-matching requirements; and the use of drop boxes for mail ballots.
“Until these unlawful practices are acknowledged and corrected, we, as members of the U.S. House of Representatives, cannot agree to support electors chosen based upon an inaccurate total vote count,’ they wrote. ‘The voters of Pennsylvania deserve integrity in the election process and equal protection under the law.
All states have certified their election results and every legal challenge to Biden’s win has failed.
Biden won Pennsylvania by 80,555 votes, one of several key battleground states that helped the Democrat to a 306-232 Electoral College margin over President Donald Trump.
Barlow noted that Trump and his allies have endured a long line of legal defeats, with nearly 60 cases rejected by courts around the country including the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court, for lack of evidence and lack of standing.
He began by citing history, writing that from President John Adams’ loss in 1800 through the five incumbents defeated in the 20th century, the transfer of power was peaceful and ‘Constitutional order’ preserved.
‘In the 2020 election, the defeated President has pushed that aside,’ Barlow wrote. ‘He has decided to contest the integrity of the vote in an effort that is long on distortion and short on evidence.’
The eight objecting congressmen, Barlow wrote, won in the same Pennsylvania election as Biden.
‘Like you, each of us swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution,’ he wrote. ‘In supporting this effort, you are turning your back on that oath and you are turning your back on the voters of State College Borough and the voters of Centre County.’
The objections are almost certainly doomed to failure. For Congress to reject a state’s electors, a majority vote of both chambers is required — an impossible scenario with the Democrartic-majority House of Representatives.
In the Senate, about a dozen Republicans have said they will oppose certification, but a growing number of GOP senators have openly said they will not and that Biden was the clear winner. Among the latter is Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
“The senators justify their intent by observing that there have been many allegations of fraud. But allegations of fraud by a losing campaign cannot justify overturning an election,’ Toomey said in a statement. ‘They fail to acknowledge that these allegations have been adjudicated in courtrooms across America and were found to be unsupported by evidence. President Trump’s own Attorney General, Bill Barr, stated ‘we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.’
“I acknowledge that this past election, like all elections, had irregularities. But the evidence is overwhelming that Joe Biden won this election. His narrow victory in Pennsylvania is easily explained by the decline in suburban support for President Trump and the president’s slightly smaller victory margins in most rural counties. I voted for President Trump and endorsed him for re-election. But, on Wednesday, I intend to vigorously defend our form of government by opposing this effort to disenfranchise millions of voters in my state and others.”
Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey wrote on Twitter that Republican senators who object to the certification ‘are aligning themselves with one of the biggest lies in political history. It’s bs.’
Barlow urged Keller and Thompson to ‘stand down’ and vote along with the commonwealth’s two U.S. senators to certify the electors.
‘To do otherwise is anti- democratic and un-American,’ he wrote.
Barlow’s letter can be read in full below:
Dear Congressmen Keller and Thompson,
I am writing to you on behalf of State College Borough Council on a matter that concerns the voters of State College Borough, Centre County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In 1800, for the first time in the history of our country, an incumbent President, John Adams, was defeated by the nominee of the opposition party, Thomas Jefferson. That election had no shortage of bitterness, but a peaceful transfer of power took place. The defeated president accepted the result. The Constitutional order was preserved. The defeat of an incumbent president has happened numerous times in American history. It happened five times in the 20th Century. In all five of those cases, the transfer of power was peaceful
In the 2020 election, the defeated President has pushed that aside. He has decided to contest the integrity of the vote in an effort that is long on distortion and short on evidence. There has been particular focus upon Pennsylvania in spite of the fact that the Biden-Harris ticket won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes by a popular vote margin of 80,555 votes and in spite of the fact that several state and federal courts including the U.S. and Pennsylvania Supreme Courts have rejected all claims of voting irregularities for lack of evidence or lack of standing.
We, the State College Borough Council, are appalled that you, Centre County’s two representatives in Congress, along with six other members of the Pennsylvania U.S. House delegation have decided to join the effort to subvert the proper counting of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes for the Biden-Harris ticket. All eight of you were elected by that same election. Like you, each of us swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. In supporting this effort, you are turning your back on that oath and you are turning your back on the voters of State College Borough and the voters of Centre County. We respectfully ask that you stand down on this effort and vote along with Pennsylvania’s two U.S. Senators in favor of accepting the 20 electors from Pennsylvania that voted for the Biden-Harris ticket. To do otherwise is anti- democratic and un-American.
Jesse L. Barlow, President