6 Pennsylvania GOP Reps Deny Signing Letter Asking Congress to Dispute Election Results

Multiple GOP legislators in Pennsylvania say their signatures were wrongly added to a letter demanding that President-elect Joe Biden's win in the state be challenged in Congress.

The signatures of 75 Republicans in Pennsylvania's state House and Senate were included in a letter sent to the state's congressional delegation on Friday, demanding that Biden's win be disputed when the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate meet for a joint session to finalize results early next month.

However, a "clerical error" led to the signatures of at least six GOP lawmakers being included without their permission. The signatures of state Representatives Chris Quinn, Todd Polinchock, Megan Schroeder, Wendi Thomas, KC Tomlinson and Tom Mehaffie were all erroneously included in the letter, according to Pennsylvania Capital-Star reporter Stephen Caruso.

"We were made aware that my name was put on a letter in error," Quinn confirmed to Newsweek. "All I can say is there was a clerical error in Harrisburg. They made a mistake and they have since pulled the letter."

The letter is the latest attempt by a number of Pennsylvania Republicans to overturn President Donald Trump's election loss. GOP leadership in the state recently rejected suggestions that they could appoint their own slate of Electoral College electors loyal to Trump despite Biden's victory, pointing out that such a move is prohibited by state law.

Some GOP Pennsylvania Lawmakers Dispute Trump Loss
The Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex is shown in this photo taken in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on October 14, 2011. MLADEN ANTONOV/AF/Getty

Other attempts to dispute the results of the election, without providing any plausible path to overturn the outcome, have fallen short in Pennsylvania. Only 49 out of 137 GOP legislators signed non-binding resolutions objecting to Biden's win last month, while a petition calling for a special session of the state legislature failed when only 32 Republicans signed on.

Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes and his victory was certified by state officials on November 24. In 2016, Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 44,292 votes. Although the president and some of his allies have continued to push evidence-free claims that Biden's win was built on massive voter fraud, repeated legal challenges and attempts to overturn results in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have so far failed.

The election could be challenged in Congress during the January 6 joint session, which will see Electoral College results certified, although the outcome is unlikely to change. Individual challenges would need to be signed off by both a member of the House and the Senate, something that could easily happen given the current political climate. However, it would be a tall order for any challenge to succeed since a majority of both chambers would need to vote in favor of a challenge for it to stand.

The House, controlled by Democrats, is unlikely to sustain any challenges attempting to overturn the election results. If the House and the Republican-controlled Senate disagree on a specific challenge, the governor of the state in question could have the final say. That contingency is unlikely to play out since multiple GOP senators have already acknowledged Biden's victory and have expressed no desire to overturn a relatively decisive Biden win.

With 270 Electoral College votes required to win the presidency, Biden earned 306 votes to Trump's 232, the same margin that Trump had over Clinton in 2016. Trump described his win as a "massive landslide victory" despite losing the national popular vote by 2.9 million. Biden earned over 7 million more votes than Trump in the current election, winning with more than 81.2 million total votes, representing—by far—the largest number cast for any presidential candidate in U.S. history.