By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon Republican and Democrat leaders have vastly different views, as expected, on the Oklahoma attorney general’s decision to back an election lawsuit that appears headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Attorney General Mike Hunter on Dec. 9 signed on to a brief in support of the Texas attorney general’s lawsuit against the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, challenging the 2020 election results in those states.
In his lawsuit, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claims these states are in violation of the Electors Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and asks the U.S.
Supreme Court to require the states to hold a special election or select a new set of electors for their electoral college votes.
“I am firmly committed to election security, which is why we have already been involved in numerous lawsuits to combat 11th-hour efforts to change state voting laws in states across the country,” AG Hunter said.
“I regret that the U.S. Supreme Court is the only forum available to resolve the many legitimate concerns regarding state elections.
“That is why I am joining the amicus brief in support of the Texas case, to encourage the highest court in the land to thoughtfully consider and address the matters presented.”
In addition to Oklahoma, the brief was signed by 16 other attorneys general.
‘ELECTION IS OVER’
Yukon’s Jody Harlan, chair of the Canadian County Democrats, said this lawsuit will have no impact on the electoral process.
“The 2020 election is over,” Harlan said. “Voters already had a voice in the election process on Nov. 3.”
The local Democrat chief cited “multiple news sources” including the Associated Press showing President-Elect Joe Biden has a “wide lead” with 7 million more popular votes and 306 electoral votes compared to 232 for President Donald Trump.
“Only 270 electoral votes are required to be elected,” Harlan noted.
Fifty states have certified their election results and passed “the safe harbor” deadline on Dec. 8, which requires Congress to accept the results when it convenes to officially count electoral votes in January 2021.
State electors will cast their ballots next Monday, Dec. 14.
“The Trump campaign’s other legal challenges alleging election fraud have been defeated in court or dismissed due to lack of credible evidence,” Harlan said. “The latest lawsuit by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under indictment himself for felony securities fraud, will be another failed attempt.
“There are no charges of voter fraud in Oklahoma, but there are plenty of problems to keep our elected leaders busy, including significant spread of COVID-19 with a significant economic impact on citizens and businesses.”
President Trump has earned Oklahoma’s seven presidential electors after winning the Nov. 3 election by a two-to-one margin over Biden. Trump received 65.37% of the 1,560,699 votes cast statewide.
District 43 State Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, believes the Texas lawsuit is important to challenge the constitutionality of election procedures in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“Oklahoma, like every state in our union, depends on honest election processes in the other states – especially when choosing those who will serve us at the federal level,” the Republican state legislator said.
“This lawsuit is not about a candidate – it is about election integrity and the protection of honest, legally-cast votes.
“Every state has its own rules and, constitutionally, they have the authority to create their own election process. It’s all written in state law, in every state.This lawsuit is really about these states who violated their own state law by changing them without due process.”
Rep. Steagall fully supports AG Hunter on this matter and will stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” with him, his constituents and fellow Oklahomans, and other elected officials to ensure Oklahomans’ election process and subsequent results are not ignored.
“This is not just Texas – it’s nearly half the country,” Steagall said. “We have some questions. And for the purpose of election integrity, those questions need to be answered.”
In their Supreme Court brief, the coalition of 17 state attorneys general refer to “serious concerns” relating to election integrity and public confidence in elections.
These are questions of “great public importance” that warrant the Court’s attention, according to the court document.