By Zachary Stieber
A group of Georgia senators are pushing for a special session of the legislature to consider choosing electors for President Donald Trump because of alleged election fraud.
“What we’re seeing in Georgia is a violation of the law, there’s fraud,” state Sen. William Ligon, a Republican, told The Epoch Times on Monday, pointing to ballots being counted after poll watchers were effectively told to leave and a water leak that halted the counting of ballots for four hours on Election Day, as well as a consent order that was entered into by state election officials and Democrat activists.
“We’re saying that there were votes from felons and others that weren’t qualified to vote that were counted, the laws regarding verifying signatures on absentee ballots were not followed, instead a consent order was followed which was not approved by the legislature, and that’s contrary to law and the Federal Constitution,” Ligon added.
He is one of four state senators who drafted a petition calling for the special session, pointing to what they say is evidence of a systemic failure to observe state election code during the Nov. 3 election.
They say the U.S. Constitution, including Section 1, Article II, Supreme Court decisions like Bush v. Gore, and federal law enable state lawmakers to nominate electors for a candidate, even if, as in Trump’s case, he is behind in the official vote count.
“So what we’re seeking to do is have a special session to review this and then determine whether or not the election was valid,” Ligon said. “And if it was not valid, then the legislature… will have to vote for who the electors will be.”
Georgia is one of 36 states in which the governor or the legislature can call a special session, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. The legislature can call a special session with a petition signed by three-fifths of the members of each house.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, on Sunday said he would not call a special session.
Ligon said lawmakers “think that we have a good faith argument that we can go around him.” The authority to determine how electors should be cast is vested with the legislature, not the executive, he added.
If enough lawmakers band together, some foresee the legislature appointing electors for Trump, even if state election officials say the vote count shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won the state.
A Kemp spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
State lawmakers are convening at Athens University, as they do at the beginning of every two-year legislative session. Ligon was on his way there. The Republican Senate caucus was meeting at 4 p.m. to discuss the possibility of convening a session. GOP members of the state House are working on a parallel effort.
The session, if it happens, is scheduled for Dec. 8.
Ligon pointed to litigation that’s ongoing when asked what would happen if lawmakers fail to get enough votes.
“But we believe that the legislature has a role in this. And that role is given to it by the United States Constitution and the legislature makes judgment decisions all the time when it comes to passing laws that affect people of the state. The legislature even has the power to try constitutional officers that are being impeached. So we are a body that can look at issues, make determinations of fact, and then act accordingly,” he added.
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