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McFeely blog: ND Republican legislator asks congressional delegations to not seat Biden

New Town lawmaker, whose residency was questioned by Democrats, says it's 'impossible' Trump lost election

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Rep. Terry Jones
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FARGO -- A Republican lawmaker whose eligibility to be elected in the state was questioned by Democrats has sent a letter to the congressional delegations of North Dakota and Wyoming asking them to not seat President-elect Joe Biden.

"It is impossible for Joe Biden to have beaten Donald Trump without irregularities in the election process," Rep. Terry Jones of New Town wrote this week, and then shared with all members of the North Dakota legislature using his state-issued e-mail account.

"State voting laws not being followed, or being altered by non-legislators, no voter IDs, dead people voting, more people voting than are on the voter rolls, voting machine problems, and more. These accusations call for an investigation, and immediate action by Congress. Congress should not seat a President when the voting results are seriously in Question by the Voters," Jones wrote.

Biden defeated the incumbent Trump decisively in November, winning the popular vote by nearly 7 million and the Electoral College by 306-232. That's the same electoral vote margin by which Trump beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Every state has certified their election results and Biden is scheduled to be affirmed by the Electoral College on Jan. 6. He'll be inaugurated Jan. 20.

The president and his supporters, including some Republican members of Congress, have said without evidence that the election was fraudulent and should be overturned. Trump and his legal team have filed dozens of lawsuits meant to overturn election results in key swing states won by Biden and have lost each one.

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Texas sued to challenge elections in other states, and was joined by other Republican states' attorneys general including North Dakota's Wayne Stenehjem, in hopes the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn the election results. The court refused to hear the case, saying Texas didn't have standing to question other states' elections.

Trump's last-ditch, and sure-to-be futile, effort to overturn the election and remain president appears to be a flawed belief that Vice President Mike Pence can assign electoral votes to Trump instead of Biden.

Jones, a farmer/rancher and not a lawyer nor Constitutional scholar, says the Supreme Court was wrong to deny Texas standing and says the Constitution allows for Congress to "to declare the election results NOT CLEAR DUE TO ILLEGAL VOTING RULE CHANGES IN SOME STATES and VOTING IRREGULARITIES, then implement the process outlined in the Constitution, or call for a VERIFICATION VOTE."

Jones cites Article 2 as giving Congress the authority to do this, which it does not. It would appear Jones, an elected official, has prescribed to the same conspiracy theories and non-existent legal knowledge that many talk-radio hosts, right-wing bloggers Facebook experts have.

It's interesting that Jones included Wyoming's congressional delegation in his screed. North Dakota's Democratic-NPL Party sued Jones this fall, claiming he was a resident of Wyoming while holding elected office in North Dakota. The case went to the state Supreme Court, which ruled Jones was a legal resident of North Dakota.

Here's Jones' letter in full:

As sent to national delegations of North Dakota and Wyoming

December 26, 2020

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I am writing to you because I am very concerned for the State of North Dakota, and the Nation I love.

Our election results need to be trustworthy. I believe the recent national election results are being thwarted by irregularities and illegal voting rule changes. It is impossible for Joe Biden to have beaten Donald Trump without irregularities in the election process. The supreme Court erred when it said Texas did not have standing. All states are directly harmed by illegal national election activities. For the Supreme Court to argue that one state cannot tell another state how to run their elections misses the mark. Texas and the other states were not telling them how to run their elections. Texas said they had to follow their legislated election laws.

I have received many emails that show voting irregularities. You probably have more than I do. It is too much to digest and prove in the time we have in this election process. We will have to go through this information and verify it item by item, so we can prevent it from ever happening again in America.

It appears the founding fathers did put in place an option for you to deal with a situation when the election results are not clear. Specifically, as in the case of a tie vote. In Article 2 it gives the option for the Representatives to vote for the president and vice-president. Irregularities and illegal voting rule changes in the election process creates a situation where the results are not clear. I ask you, to gather as much support as you can to stand in the joint session on January 6, 2021 to declare the election results NOT CLEAR DUE TO ILLEGAL VOTING RULE CHANGES IN SOME STATES and VOTING IRREGULARITIES, then implement the process outlined in the Constitution, or call for a VERIFICATION VOTE.

A verification vote would be the best way to establish the true voice of the people in the contested states where legislated voting rules were not followed. If voters say there was no voting irregularities that affected the outcome of the election, they should welcome the verification vote to prove them right. Those voters that think the majority voted for Trump will be supportive of the verification vote to prove it. All voters should be willing to accept the outcome of the verification vote making this a good solution for our present situation. President Elect Joe Biden should not be seated if the election laws were broken to put him there.

A verification vote would need to be run in a way that would preclude any type of voting irregularities. If we could have a verification vote with block chain technology, or with other secure methods, the election outcome could be trusted. We may need to consider just having paper ballots and have them hand counted. The goal is to have voters confident in the outcome while following state voting laws.

Congress is the last line of defense to protect the voice of the people. Please follow the path the founders gave you to set things right in this election or call for a verification vote. Election integrity is necessary for our Republic. We don’t appear to have it in this 2020 election.

Do not be intimidated by the organized chaos that will follow. Face the bully and stand strong for our country. If cheating is not confronted now, when will it be? What message do we want to send to our children and the patriots of this great nation? The time is now to embrace the spirit of our founding fathers and fight for America.

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Be bold, protect the America we love. We want and need free and fair elections with each state following their own laws, voter ID, signature verification, and legal deadlines, etc.

P.S. 12/28/2020

I have had several requests for the Constitutional Authority for a verification vote. If you look at article 1 section 4, you will see that the State legislators set the Time, place, and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives. The Elections are tied together for State Legislators, Congress, and the President. The Constitution then says “But the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the places of chusing Senators. This Gives Congress the final say to protect the voice of the people.

I know there are a lot of questions being raised about this election: State voting laws not being followed, or being altered by non- legislators, no voter IDs, dead people voting, more people voting than are on the voter rolls, voting machine problems, and more. These accusations call for an investigation, and immediate action by Congress. Congress should not seat a President when the voting results are seriously in Question by the Voters. Almost everyone I talk to say “something is not right”. The Verification Vote option is a good way to let the voice of the people carry the day. It is a Constitutionally sound option.

Opinion by Mike McFeely
Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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