Congresswoman Elise Stefanik on Thursday morning threw her support behind President Donald Trump’s legal effort to challenge ballot counts in close states, raising unspecified concerns about Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Stefanik romped to her own reelection Tuesday night, and in an interview with Fox and Friends on Thursday she trumpeted the victory of Republican women she had backed in states across the country. She then pivoted to the legal challenges playing out in close states still counting final ballots (just as New York elections officials continue to count ballots in Stefanik’s North County district).
She said she supported Trump’s legal challenges and that she wanted to ensure “every legal ballot is counted.”
“I’m supporting the president’s effort: take a close look at Arizona, Pennsylvania, maintaining the ballot security and integrity is very, very important,” Stefanik said in the interview aired Thursday morning. “People are paying attention and it’s a good thing when people are voting legally.”
Stefanik did not detail any specific voting concerns about Arizona or Pennsylvania – the two states she named – but did note that she wants to ensure votes are only counted if they followed “rules set by legislatures.”
“I also think there are going to be pending court cases, and we want to make sure every legal ballot is counted, not the illegal ballots,” she said.
With votes still being counted in close presidential races in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada, Trump on Wednesday filed legal actions in multiple states, seeking to gain greater access for poll observers and call into question the validity of mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day.
Trump on Thursday asserted in all caps on social media: “Any vote that came in after Election Day will not be counted!”
But in some states election law allows mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day to arrive sometime after Election Day to still be counted. In New York, for example, absentee ballots have until Nov. 10 to arrive in elections offices to qualify for counting. Elections officials in Stefanik’s district – which was called in her favor before all votes had been counted due to her wide margin of victory – will continue counting ballots next week that arrived in the days following Election Day.