In a fiery speech on the House floor Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert argued that Arizona's electoral votes should not be counted because a judge extended the state's voter registration deadline, contrary to what she described as a constitutional requirement that the deadline is up to the legislature.
The freshman Republican from Rifle was one of the last House members to speak before protesters stormed the Capitol and forced lawmakers to halt debate over objections by some Republicans to certifying Joe Biden's election win over President Donald Trump.
"Either we have laws or we do not," Boebert shouted during a four-minute speech that was briefly interrupted by a commotion in the House chambers.
"If we allow state election laws as set forth by the state legislatures to be ignored and manipulated on a whim by partisan lawsuits, unelected bureaucrats, unlawful procedures and arbitrary rules, then our constitutional republic ceases to exist."
Boebert, who was sworn into office on Sunday, announced weeks ago that she planned to object to certification of Joe Biden's, but her role as one of the initial Republicans speaking in support of the first objection — to Arizona's vote — came as a surprise.
"To ease everyone’s nerve, I want you to know that I’m not here to challenge anyone to a duel like Alexander Hamilton or Aaron Burr," said Boebert, a gun-rights activist who has gained notoriety for vowing she'll wear a handgun at the Capitol and on the streets of the District of Columbia.
"Madame Speaker," she continued, "my primary objection to the county of electoral votes of the state of Arizona is based on the Constitution."
Boebert and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn are the two Colorado Republicans objecting to Biden's win, based on unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud and irregularity in the Nov. 3 election.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, the chairman of the Colorado GOP, is opposed to the objections, arguing the Constitution doesn't allow Congress to decide whether to accept certified electoral votes submitted by the states.
In her speech, Boebert maintained that Arizona law set the voter registration deadline for this year's presidential election at Oct. 5, but a judge granted an additional 10 days in response to a lawsuit citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is completely indefensible," she said. "You cannot change the rules of an election while it is underway and expect the American people to trust it."
Speaking quickly and her voice rising, Boebert invoked the protesters outside the Capitol who would soon breach the barriers, force their way past law enforcement officers and overrun the building.
"Madame Speaker, I have constituents outside this building right now. I promised my voters to be their voice in this branch of government which I now serve. It is my separate but equal obligation to weigh in on this election and object. Are we not a government of, by and for the people? They know that this election is not right, and as their representative I am sent here to represent them, I will not allow the people to be ignored," she said.
Boebert closed by accusing lawmakers opposed to the opposition with siding "with the extremist left."
Said Boebert: "The members who stand here today and accept the results of this concentrated, coordinated partisan effort by Democrats — where every fraudulent vote canceled out the vote of an honest American — have sided with the extremist left. The United States Congress needs to make an informed decision and that starts with his objection."