FILE - OH Dave Yost 4-22-2019

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost

(The Center Square) – An Ohio state representative wants Ohio to join Texas and sue Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin over allegations of voting irregularities that led to the apparent defeat of President Donald Trump in the November general election.

Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, wrote and signed a letter to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, urging him to join with Texas, alleging the states showed a disregard for the election process and violated the Constitution.

Yost responded Wednesday by filing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to accept Texas’ case.

“Free and fair elections start with clear rules that don’t change right before the election,” Yost said in the brief. “It is not unreasonable to wonder – and many millions of Americans do – whether those hastily implemented changes exposed the election systems to vulnerabilities.”

Specifically, Cutrona noted executive branches in states made last-minute changes before administering the November election.

“These changes, made outside the rule of law and outside the legislative process, have cast a great deal of uncertainty as to the outcome of the election in those states,” Cutrona said. “It is only proper that these changes be analyzed by the United States Supreme Court to determine if they did in fact fall within the scope of law, and if not, appropriate action must be taken to ensure the sanctity of the election.”

Cutrona is also in discussions with other state legislators regarding the lawsuit.

“This letter is not about the outcome of the election itself; it is instead to help ensure that all states administered a legal election. If these four states did not do so, they have the potential to invalidate the election results of every other state in the country,” Cutrona said. “We, as a state, must do all we can to guarantee that the results of the election were valid and reflective of the will of the people. The Texas lawsuit will allow the United States Supreme Court to do just that.”

Cutrona’s effort was joined by State Rep. Scott Wiggam, R-Wayne County, who also sent a letter to Yost. The two have been joined by other lawmakers.

“As legislators answerable to our constituents, we are concerned that Ohio voters are being disenfranchised as well,” Wiggam said. “We believe that Ohio should intervene and legally support the Texas lawsuit, thereby ensure that democratic principles of one person one vote are secure and that our constitutional republic remains in tact.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit in the Supreme Court this week, alleging that Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania “exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the results of the 2020 general election.”

In the suit, Paxton asks the court’s permission to sue the four states, saying the changes to election laws by judges and others were a violation of the Elector’s Clause of the Constitution which gives legislators the authority to appoint electors. It also alleges “intrastate differences in the treatment of voters” with voters in Democrat-controlled areas treated more favorably and alleges there was an “unconstitutional relaxation” of ballot-integrity provisions in the laws of the four states.

“All these flaws – even the violations of state election law – violate one or more of the federal requirements for elections (i.e., equal protection, due process, and the Electors Clause) and thus arise under federal law,” Texas alleges in the suit, citing the Bush v. Gore case, in which the Court found that a “significant departure from the legislative scheme for appointing presidential electors” made the case a federal case.

The four states, Texas says, acted in a “common pattern” and through lawsuits or through executive action, unlawfully changed the rules of the election.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.