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Follow the latest news and information about voting and the 2020 election, including essential information about how to vote during a pandemic and more.

Top NC Republicans Aren't Acknowledging That Joe Biden Is The President-Elect

Steve Harrison/WFAE
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis said he supports President Trump's litigation and request for recounts. He has not acknowledged that Joe Biden is the president-elect.

North Carolina Republicans are increasingly weighing in on President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in last week’s election, and it appears that no GOP members of the state’s congressional delegation have acknowledged that Joe Biden is the president-elect.

Ninth District Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte wrote on Twitter last week that he’s “echoing the President’s claims.”

He said there was “grossly improper conduct” in his district, referring to allegations that some voters in Anson County received improper assistance during early voting. Nearly 30 complaints were filed there, mostly concerning allegations against the husband of a candidate for register of deeds.

He added that pre-election polls were fraudulent and that there were “stunning and implausible ballot dumps overnight.”

He ended his tweet with one word: Fight!

The state Republican Party appears to be following that lead.

It tweeted Monday night that it will stand with President Trump, that elections need to be fair and that all legal votes must be counted. It linked to a fundraising email to “keep Sleepy Joe and radical Kamala out of the White House.”

Party chairman Michael Whatley compared President Trump’s protests to those of former vice president Al Gore 20 years ago.

“Vice President Gore did not concede until we went all the way through the recounts and the litigation down in Florida,” he said. “And once all of the process was done, he accepted that and there should not be a lot of pushback from Democrats that we’re going through the same type of process on it right now.”

In the case of Gore's challenge in 2000, 537 votes separated him from George W. Bush's total in Florida. In the state where Trump currently has the smallest deficit, he is behind Biden by 12,657 votes in Georgia.

But what will happen if the GOP’s lawsuits are dismissed? And if President Trump refuses to acknowledge Biden is the president, will the NC GOP follow his lead?

Whatley said he can’t say.

“I have not thought about that and I think it’s a bit premature at this point,” he said. “We’re going to continue to support the campaign’s efforts to make sure every legal vote is counted. And once that’s done, then we’ll move forward at that time.”

Along with 37 other Republican House members, Bishop and Ted Budd from North Carolina’s 13th District signed a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr to make sure the election was "fair."

Budd Tweeted Monday that if “we can spend two years investigating Russian collusion conspiracy theories, we should be able to take time to count (votes).”

Republican Thom Tillis won reelection to the Senate. His statement wasn’t as inflammatory as Bishop’s call to "fight," but he also has not recognized that Biden is the president-elect.

He Tweeted that “every vote legally cast must be counted and Americans should have confidence in our electoral system” and that “President Trump has every right to request recounts and litigation to ensure state election laws were followed, just as other Democrat & Republican candidates have done before.”

Just four Republican senators — Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska — have acknowledged Biden’s victory.

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