MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The following statement about the certification today in the U.S. Congress of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College is by Margaret Huang, President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“A historic number of Americans voted in the 2020 presidential election and sent a clear, decisive message: the United States must embrace democracy, science, and racial reconciliation. While there continues to be extensive work throughout the country to ensure every voter can easily access the ballot box, government election security officials called the 2020 election ‘the most secure in American history.’ Today, the U.S. Congress will certify states’ and the District of Columbia’s certified Electoral College votes. This largely ceremonial event sets the stage for a peaceful transfer of power on January 20 to a new administration.
“Unfortunately, at the outgoing president’s urging, many Republican members of Congress have made clear they will baselessly object to certain states’ Electoral College votes. These actions will merely delay the outcome of the certification process today. However, they are a deeply distressing statement against democracy and elections within one of the two major political parties in our nation.
“This anti-democratic strain of thought, combined with the violent rhetoric and on-the-ground mobilization of far-right extremists today in Washington, DC, create a volatile situation. Every elected leader in the United States, in contrast to the president, should encourage their followers to peacefully participate in the democratic process and respect the outcomes of free and fair elections. Doing otherwise will embolden potentially-violent groups and individuals and endanger the safety of everyday Americans, particularly communities of color, as well as election officials and law enforcement.”