‘Tonight, I will continue to vote to reaffirm the foundation of our democracy – the Constitution of the United States – and I will reject these challenges to the Electoral College.’
Washington, D.C.—This evening, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) spoke on the Senate floor in support of Congress’ certification of the Electoral College votes:
“Mr. President, let me begin my remarks tonight by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to the members of the law enforcement community and the National Guard, whose hard work and courage made it possible for us to resume our deliberations tonight.
“We returned to this chamber tonight, undeterred by the violence we witnessed, and strengthened in our determination to fulfill our constitutional duty.
“The Constitution is the foundation of our American democracy, and the Constitution is what must guide our decisions on the presidential election.
“The process the Constitution sets forth for electing Presidents through the Electoral College is straightforward: The people vote. Electors are chosen. The Electors vote. Then Congress counts the Electors’ votes. That final step in the process is why we have convened today.
“Counting the votes of the electors – a function that the 12th Amendment assigns to Congress – is an administrative and largely ceremonial act. Our job is simply to count the votes certified by each state. Nothing more. We should not attempt to usurp the roles of the voters, the states, or the Electoral College.
“The American people have done their job, turning out in record numbers to vote in the midst of a frightening pandemic. Indeed, as a percentage of the voting-eligible population, the turnout was the highest in 120 years.
“Similarly, in the midst of this pandemic, hundreds of election officials and volunteers have done their job, staffing polling places and faithfully counting, and often recounting, votes.
“The states have done their job by certifying the election results.
“Now, Mr. President, I've heard the proponents of these objections raise questions about whether the various states conducted their elections properly.
“When disputes over elections arise, candidates are able to appeal to our legal system, not Congress, for recourse.
“In the two months since the 2020 election, the President's lawyers and allies have had the opportunity to make their arguments and challenge election results before the courts.
“Notably, every one of nearly 60 lawsuits that they brought forward has been rejected. In fact, the Supreme Court has twice refused to hear their election challenges.
“We must abide by these rulings. The time has now come for Congress to do its job. We should affirm the certified results of each state by counting the votes of their electors.
“Altering the results of the Electoral College would set a terrible precedent in which the party in control of Congress could override the will of the voters, and overrule our courts, to unilaterally choose the next President. One Senator attempted such a maneuver after the election in 2004, and the Senate overwhelmingly rejected that effort. The Senate has demonstrated by its vote tonight that it will follow that precedent and do so again.
“Tonight, I will continue to vote to reaffirm the foundation of our democracy – the Constitution of the United States – and I will reject these challenges to the Electoral College.”