Statement from Senator Paul Boyer
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Statement from Senator Paul Boyer
I believe it's important to respond to questions about a recent letter sent out by several of my colleagues in the Legislature. I initially signed onto a resolution to Congress asking for a halt in accepting Arizona’s presidential electors for two reasons. I took seriously the hundreds of emails and phone calls from my constituents who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent, and every day I do my best to represent them. Further, I signed onto this resolution while there was ongoing litigation and uncertainty with the election. Since that time, the President’s campaign attorneys and the State Republican Party have lost in court on several challenges to the election results.
Further, the resolution that I initially signed onto was significantly altered as well. This updated resolution was changed from a general statement of not accepting Arizona’s electoral results to the following: “the alternate 11 electoral votes be accepted for Donald J. Trump, or to have all electoral votes nullified completely until a full forensic audit can be conducted.” I could not sign onto this altered resolution because I could not in good conscience defend the new language of the demand for Congress to overturn the will of Arizona voters or nullify the electoral votes altogether, without an acknowledgement of accepting the outcome of the full forensic audit, even if our preferred candidate did not get a plurality of votes.
I do support a full audit and a full recount as I believe this would give the public peace of mind in the electoral process and voting generally in the state of Arizona. However, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors could not conduct a full audit of the machines and software used in the election while there was pending litigation. So even if they wanted to conduct a full audit, the fact that there was pending litigation would have prevented them from doing so.
Some legislators continue to tell the public that the state legislature should use its plenary powers to appoint new electors. I do believe the state legislature does have full authority to appoint electors per the Constitution. However, what is lost in the focus on this portion of the Constitution is no matter how many individual state legislators would like to meet in a Special Session to even entertain such an idea, we would need either a 2/3rd bipartisan majority or the Governor to call us into a Special Session. Further, we would need a bipartisan 2/3rd majority to implement an Emergency Clause for whatever legislation we agreed upon to go into effect immediately, instead of waiting 90 days until after the Special Session adjourned. Any legislator who tells you there is a 2/3rds bipartisan majority for either effort have ocean front property to sell you in Arizona.
Further, Arizona has a “faithless electors” law passed by Rep. Anthony Kern in 2017 that mandates the state’s presidential electors must cast their vote for the Presidential candidate who received the largest number of votes. If they refuse to cast their vote for the candidate selected by the largest number of Arizona voters, they will have then disqualified themselves as a presidential elector and their office is “deemed and declared vacant by operation of law". To follow Arizona law, the electors who met on December 14 to cast their votes had no option but to vote for the candidate with the greatest number of votes and they did follow the law.
Of course, the Arizona legislature can alter the way we appoint electors in the future, but we should not even entertain let alone attempt to select electors who will vote for our candidate of choice because we did not like the outcome. We have had multiple opportunities in several courts to make the case of fraud and irregularities and have been unsuccessful in all of them. The Arizona State Supreme Court ruled 7-0 against preceding with the lawsuit challenging the election results. It was not 4-3, 5-2, or even 6-1, but 7-0.
Arizona citizens do need confidence in the system, which is why I support a full audit and a full recount, but we must abide by the results whether we like them or not.