Capito: Biden transition must be allowed to happen

CHARLESTON — The state’s lone Republican U.S. Senator said Monday’s that Republican President Donald Trump’s challenge of the outcome for the 2020 election is nearly out of time and the orderly transition process for Democratic President-Elect Joe Biden should begin.

In a statement Monday, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said that if states certify the election results as they stand, Biden will be the next U.S. president on Jan. 20, 2021.

She called for the Biden campaign to begin receiving intelligence briefings, updates on national COVID-19 response, and all other transition assistance and materials.

“I have been clear that President Trump – like any candidate for office – has the right to request recounts and to raise legal claims before our courts. However, at some point, the 2020 election must end,” Capito said.

“I will respect the certified results and will congratulate our nation’s new leaders, regardless of the policy differences I might have with them,” Capito continued. “As with any administration, I will look for common ground in the best interest of our state and our country.”

West Virginia overwhelmingly voted for Trump for a second term. According to unofficial election results from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, Trump received 309,269 more votes than Biden, winning 545,143 (69%) to 235,874 (30%). Capito, who also won her election by a wide margin, received more votes than Trump, receiving 547,210 votes.

“Like the overwhelming majority of West Virginians, I voted to re-elect President Donald J. Trump,” Capito said. “I am proud to have supported many of President Trump’s policies that have strengthened West Virginia’s economy and moved our country forward … Unfortunately, election results from around the country indicate that our fellow Americans chose differently.”

Only Wood County has not officially declared its results, performing its vote canvass Monday with two proxies due to two commissioners out sick. Once Wood County joins the 54 other counties in declaring their results, the state’s electors will meet Dec. 14 to cast the state’s five electoral votes for Trump.

Both Michigan and Pennsylvania – two battleground states where the Trump campaign has attempted to mount legal challenges due to alleged voting irregularities – were set to certify their results for Biden Monday. Nevada and Wisconsin – two other battleground states – are set to certify today and next week respectively.

Georgia declared Biden the winner Friday after an automatic hand recount in the state, though the Trump campaign requested another recount, which is allowed under Georgia law with the state picking up the bill for the costs associated with the recount due to Trump and Biden being separated by 0.02% of the vote. Efforts by the Trump campaign to challenge the vote counts have all failed except two times, with judges citing lack of substantial evidence of voter fraud.

“While some irregularities and fraud have been found and should be punished, there is no indication that these are widespread enough to call into question the outcome of the election,” Capito said. “I firmly believe in our electoral system and in the power of the voice of the people.”

Capito joins a chorus of other lawmakers that have called on Trump to accept the results of the presidential election and begin the transition process. U.S. Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., U.S. Rep. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., have also said it’s time to start the transition.


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