MIAMI, Fla. – All of the members of Congress from South Florida and the state’s two senators denounced the attack on the Capitol, indeed an attack on American democracy itself. That attack changed some minds and changed how some members of Congress voted to reject or keep the electors from contested states on Wednesday.
“Several of my colleagues have adopted the idea, and I respect it, that they are going to object,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said from the House floor. “Now, it’s important to understand something. Even the people objecting in the Senate recognize that it’s not going to pass. It’s not going to change the outcome but it’s going to send a message and it’s going to make a point. The problem is,” he continued, “I think it is a terrible idea at this moment. "
Voting to reject the electors was newly sworn-in Republican Congressman Carlos Gimenez of Miami. He had said earlier that his mind was not made up one way or another and that he would examine the evidence and vote accordingly. He did and voted to reject the electors.
He issued a statement Thursday:
“After keeping an open mind, letting the arguments play out on the House floor, and weighing their merits, I objected to the certification of electors from states I believe violated Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution after their state-level executive officials bypassed electoral statutes passed by their state legislatures. Though I acknowledge my objections to these particular slates of electors would never have changed the outcome of the election, it is my duty as a Member of Congress to exercise Congressional oversight powers in order to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
In his statement, Gimenez cited congressional objections to slates of electors such as the certifications of the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections. “In the past, members have used the election certification process to highlight voter irregularities, with House Democrats voting against certification of President George W. Bush’s win in Ohio in the 2004 election as an example.”
Miami Congressman Mario Diaz Balart (R-Miami District 25) also voted to reject the electors. He said in a statement: “I have become convinced that the electors in some states were selected in an unconstitutional manner. I simply cannot vote to upload a slate of electors under those circumstances.”
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story mistakenly suggested that Sen. Marco Rubio indicated which way he would vote on electors before the vote. Local 10 News regrets the confusion.