The Dairy Barn Polling Location 2020

Voters lined up inside The Dairy Barn Polling location in Athens on Election Day this year. Photo by Ben Peters.

Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) joined more than 40 Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday in calling on state Attorney General Dave Yost to join Texas’ legal efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election in four key swing states.

“We have seen irregularities in the vote count, unexplained statistical anomalies, as well as grave allegations of irregularities and misconduct in the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania … as legislators answerable to our constituents, we are concerned that Ohio voters are being disenfranchised as well,” the GOP lawmakers’ letter to Yost said.

The Texas lawsuit was filed last Wednesday by Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton who asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent the states from sending their Democratic electors to the Electoral College’s meeting Monday, arguing pandemic-related changes to the election in those battleground states violated federal law and allowed voter fraud to take place, according to The Texas Tribune.

Yost, a Republican, filed a brief later that day in sharp opposition to the lawsuit despite state GOP lawmakers’ wishes, saying the Supreme Court doesn’t have the power to decide who states send to vote in the Electoral College.

“What is more, the relief that Texas seeks would undermine a foundational premise of our federalist system: the idea that the States are sovereigns, free to govern themselves … the courts have no more business ordering the People’s representatives how to choose electors than they do ordering the People themselves how to choose their dinners,” he wrote.

Edwards, who was flagged by Facebook following Election Day for spreading misinformation about votes in Michigan, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Yost’s brief.

The attorneys general of all four battleground states targeted in Texas’ suit filed a response Thursday asking that the nation’s highest court reject it.

The lawsuit, which legal experts say has little chance of success, has since been backed by 17 states, President Donald Trump and 108 Republican members of Congress, including Rep. Bill Johnson whose district encompasses part of Athens County.

“Like you, I’ve read about many of these voting irregularities,” he said in a statement. “They’re troubling. But, the national media has no interest in reporting on the substance of them because it doesn’t fit their liberal, ‘elect Joe Biden at all cost’ narrative.”

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the Texas suit, writing in its order, “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.”

Edwards did not respond to another request for comment on the court’s decision.

Evidence of widespread voter fraud hasn’t been found by election officials anywhere across the country. Prominent Republican leaders in Ohio have emphatically dismissed claims of mass fraud voiced by Trump and many members of their own party.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman publicly proclaimed in a Cincinnati Enquirer op-ed that that there is no proof of extensive voting irregularities across the country that would have prevented President-elect Joe Biden from winning the requisite 270 votes in the Electoral College. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s top election official, told The New York Times in the days following the election that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the Ohio.

“There’s a great human capacity for inventing things that aren’t true about elections,” LaRose said. “The conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things run rampant. For some reason, elections breed that type of mythology.”

Trump, whose many legal efforts to overturn the election have thus far have been wildly unsuccessful, won Ohio by 8 points securing the state’s 18 Electoral College votes.

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