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Braun reverses course, votes against objection to election results

Indianapolis Star logo Indianapolis Star 1/7/2021 Lawrence Andrea, Indianapolis Star

Hours after rioters tore through the United States Capitol and a woman was shot and killed inside the building, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun reversed course. 

Braun, who vowed to object to President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory as recently as early Wednesday afternoon, declined to join the objection to the election results in Arizona Wednesday evening.

Sen. Todd Young, a fellow Republican, also declined to object to the results in Arizona, as he had previously said he would. The objection failed in the Senate, 93-6. 

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Both senators also voted against a similar objection to Pennsylvania's certification, which failed 93-7. Biden was formally certified as the winner of the election early Thursday morning

Before the Arizona vote, Braun indicated the chaos, destruction and violence in the Capitol had changed his mind. In a statement to White House pool reporters, Braun said he "didn't feel comfortable with today's events," noting he believes election integrity is "still a valid issue."

a group of people holding wine glasses: Sen. Mike Braun speaks to the press in the U.S. Capitol during the impeachment trial. © John Shinkle/US Senate Photo Sen. Mike Braun speaks to the press in the U.S. Capitol during the impeachment trial.

How representatives voted: See all of Indiana's votes

"When today's events unfolded, I could not dignify it even with upholding something I objected to," Braun said. "I'd say that was the reason behind most (of the members of Congress) that ended up changing their minds."

Following the Arizona vote, Braun tweeted: "Though I will continue to push for a thorough investigation into the election irregularities many Hoosiers are concerned with as my objection was intended, I have withdrawn that objection and will vote to get this ugly day behind us."

Braun's statements came as Congress reconvened Wednesday evening after being delayed by rioters who stormed into the Capitol building, breaking into offices and forcing a lockdown. 

"What we’re seeing at the Capitol is wrong, hurts the cause of election integrity, and needs to stop immediately," Braun wrote in a Tweet at 4:15 p.m. "Rioting and violence are never acceptable."

Braun in a joint statement with 10 other Republicans previously indicated he was objecting to the Electoral College because the 2020 presidential election "featured unprecedented allegations of voter fraud."

There is no evidence of voter fraud that would change the outcome of the presidential election.

"We are not naive. We fully expect most if not all Democrats, and perhaps more than a few Republicans, to vote otherwise," the group said in the Saturday statement. "But support of election integrity should not be a partisan issue."

The Indiana senator was not the only member of Congress to change his mind after the afternoon's chaos. Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia said they would also accept the results of the election, according to the Associated Press.

Contact Lawrence Andrea at 317-775-4313 or Follow him on Twitter @lawrencegandrea.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Braun reverses course, votes against objection to election results


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