Today, members of the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus signed a letter showing their support for President Donald Trump as he contests the results of last week’s election.
Paul Rose (R-Covington) is among the two dozen supporting Trump.
“While this election may have been ‘called’ by various media outlets, the election process is far from over,” the letter read. “This election was extremely close in multiple states across the country. The coronavirus pandemic led to an extraordinary amount of absentee ballots and voting by mail. We believe that, due to unprecedented mail-in voting and razor-thin margins in multiple states, the ultimate result remains uncertain.”
The unofficial results show Trump received 71.5 million popular votes to former vice president Joe Biden’s 76.4 million. He is expected to receive 214 electoral votes to Biden’s 290.
The win was projected Saturday morning with the presumed president- and vice-president-elect delivering victory speeches Saturday night.
The Trump camp, however, has filed lawsuits in many states calling into question the validity of the election. Supporters, including Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn and Senator-elect Bill Hagerty, released statements in support of the president last week.
“I agree with President Trump, we must protect the sanctity of the ballot box,” said Hagerty via email Friday. “That means every vote legally cast must be counted. We can’t allow a lack of transparency to harm our election system. America is the greatest nation in the world, and our citizens should have faith in our electoral process. The lack of transparency and irregularities that we’ve seen are a cause of great concern.”
The Leader asked Hagerty’s camp for more information and explanation about its allegations, but they did not respond to that request.
Blackburn encouraged voters to donate to the president’s legal defense fund and Senator Lamar Alexander said it was important to accept the results quickly once the issues were solved.
“After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result,” he said. “The orderly transfer or reaffirming of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy.”
In its letter, The Tennessee Republican Senate Caucus said, “There have been reports of irregularities in many critical states such as Michigan, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Until these irregularities have been thoroughly investigated and court appeals have been exhausted, no winner should be declared.”
Only the results of the presidential election are being questioned, and only in a few states. Tennessee’s results are not being contested.
“This is an important election. There is no reason to come to a premature conclusion with this many lingering questions. While the results of most presidential elections are clear on or around election day, the results become official only when the presidential electors vote in December. President Trump has a right to challenge the results of this election until at least that point. We support him in doing so and encourage all Tennesseans and Americans to be patient until the result of this election can be determined.”