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I would like to publicly thank Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., for standing up for democracy and voting to certify the election of Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States.

It is strange to thank elected officials for recognizing the election results that were not particularly close. Joe Biden received over 51% of the votes, 7 million more votes than President Donald Trump. And the Electoral College was a decisive 306 to 232 vote in favor of President-elect Biden.

Despite this resounding defeat, President Trump continues to inaccurately claim that the election was rigged, making unsubstantiated claims of massive fraud, and falsely claiming that he won “by a landslide.”

It is relatively easy for Sen. Manchin, a Democrat, to ignore the pleas of President Trump to overturn the will of the voters in order to keep himself in office. But it is an act of political courage for Sen. Capito, the leader of the Republican Party in West Virginia, where President Trump won by almost 70%, to say no to him.

It is important to recognize Sen. Capito’s fortitude in support of a fair and legitimate democratic process. It is unfortunate and deeply concerning that we cannot also extend congratulations to Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., for supporting American democracy. His votes to object to state-certified election results are an affront to the rule of law and our Constitution.

Perry Bryant