FARGO — North Dakota's three members of Congress are staying noncommittal on the question of whether the United States House and Senate should challenge the outcome of the presidential election.
Congress is scheduled to certify the results of the 2020 election on Jan. 6, with former Vice President Joe Biden currently viewed as the president elect, having secured 306 Electoral College votes to President Donald Trump's 232 Electoral College votes.
Biden defeated Trump by a margin of more than 7 million votes in the popular vote.
The president and his allies have raised numerous court challenges in the wake of the election, which judges have consistently dismissed.
Under traditional rules governing the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress, if a single House member and a single Senator express a challenge to the election results, the two branches of Congress separate and debate the challenge before resuming the joint session.
Many House Republicans have pledged to challenge the election results and on Wednesday, Dec. 30, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, said he would raise an election challenge in the Senate.
Any challenge raised during the Jan. 6 session is expected to slow but likely not change the anticipated outcome of the certification process.
The Forum reached out to North Dakota's congressional delegation for their thoughts on a potential election challenge and, more specifically, how they would vote if there is a move to challenge the outcome, such as asking the vice president to set aside a state's election results and give a state's votes to the president.
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., said this week that Sen. Hawley "is within his rights to object, just as Democrats have done in past elections, including the 2016 election."
"No formal objections have been made public, so I do not know what the specific potential objections are. It would be a disservice to comment on speculation at this time," Armstrong added.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said: "We believe that the president’s best recourse is through the courts, but we continue to listen to the input of North Dakotans.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., stated: "While I believe evidentiary hearings in courtrooms remains the only viable course for the remedy the president is seeking, I will listen intently — and with an open mind — to the arguments brought before the Senate if objections are made on Jan. 6 to the Electoral College votes."