Pence Says He Wants Electoral Issues Raised, but Has No Authority to Change Votes

Vice President Mike Pence, who is set to oversee the certification of the Electoral College vote, is claiming he wants to address election irregularities and fraud during Wednesday’s joint session of Congress despite not having the authority to affect the ultimate outcome, The New York Times reports.

“I know we all have got our doubts about the last election,” Pence told a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump in Milner, Georgia, Monday. “I want to assure you that I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities. I promise you, come this Wednesday, we will have our day in Congress.”

The vice president spoke while campaigning for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who face Democrat opponents in runoff races on Tuesday.

Trump highlighted Pence’s role during his Monday appearance in Dalton, Georgia.

“I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump said. “I hope that our great vice president, our great vice president, comes through for us. He’s a great guy. Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him as much.”

Trump didn’t say exactly how he expected Pence to do that, adding with a laugh, “Nah, Mike is a great guy, he’s a wonderful man and a smart man and a man that I like a lot.”

Pence’s role on Wednesday is largely ceremonial and scripted by Senate parliamentarians, according to the Times, but that may not shield him from criticism from the president and his supporters, some of whom believe the vice president could find an alternative to certifying Joe Biden’s win.

After 12 GOP senators announced Saturday they would object to the electoral vote certification, Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short issued the following statement: “The vice president welcomes the efforts of members of the House and Senate to use the authority they have under the law to raise objections and bring forward evidence before the Congress and the American people on Jan. 6.”