Cattaraugus County’s Republican Party chairman, Robert C. Keis Sr., remains skeptical of the presidential vote and wants investigations into possible voting irregularities.
Like a number of Republican lawmakers, Keis said Friday he finds himself unable to utter the phrase President-elect Joseph Biden.
“I think it’s sad, in this day and age, with all the computers and software, that a week and a half after the election we still don’t know for sure who won,” said Keis, an early Trump supporter in the 2016 presidential primary.
“I know the media has called it for Biden, but there’s some questionable stuff that ought to be looked at,” Keis said, without being specific. “It’s possible reports are a bunch of baloney and possibly that there was a bunch of monkey business.
“It’s sad we can’t flat out say it was done right,” added. “It should be investigated. It bothers me. It’s ugly. It’s a sad commentary.”
Keis said he doesn’t blame Trump for trying legal avenues, considering various allegations of voting irregularities.
“Whether there’s enough to overturn things, I don’t know,” Keisters said. “There could be some down-ballot effect.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has denounced Trump and Republicans for sowing doubt about and refusing to accept the presidential election results.
“The election is not in doubt,” Schumer said Thursday at a joint news conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill. “This is nothing more than a temper tantrum by Republicans, nothing more than a pathetic political performance for an audience of one: President Donald John Trump.”
Schumer said the results of the election cannot be compared to those of the 2000 election, which came down to Florida and a difference of several hundred votes.
“Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College has been secured by several states, where tens of thousands of votes separate the candidates,” he said.
For his part, Keis said he was “very disappointed in the whole situation. If the numbers are correct. If Trump had acted a little less like a spoiled brat and pompous ass, things might be different. He’s got no one to blame but himself.”
Regarding COVID-19 as a factor in the election, Keis said, in the beginning, it was not recommended to wear masks. When it became apparent that the coronavirus spread in the air and health officials were urging everyone to wear masks, avoid crowds and wash their hands, Trump refused to wear a mask and was rude to some around him who did wear masks.
“It was kind of flagrant the way he did it,” Keis said. “It was arrogant of him that he didn’t wear a mask.”
In mid-October, the president and numerous White House staff and others who attended mass events where masks were rare contracted the coronavirus. Trump was hospitalized briefly.
A Stanford University study claims an estimated 30,000 contracted COVID-19 from attendees at Trump’s numerous outdoor campaign rallies, where masks were rarely worn. An estimated 700 COVID-19 deaths were tied to the rallies. To many, the election was a referendum on the president’s response to COVID-19, which has killed more than 240,000 in this country.
Meanwhile, major media outlets have called the election for Biden and are asking why the White House hasn’t conceded the race and begun offering presidential daily briefings to the president-elect’s transition team.
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, another early Trump supporter, was one of the first congressional Republicans to offer congratulations Saturday to Biden.
“Tom Reed’s a gentleman,” Keis observed. “He’s doing what he thinks is right.”
Keis maintained that “if there’s any proof of any monkey business with votes for Democrats or Republicans, it needs to be looked at. Whether it changes anything or not,” investigations could help convince voters of the integrity of the Democratic electoral system, he said.
The Republican chairman put his money where his mouth is by sending a contribution to the Trump recount effort. “It’s not a scam,” he said.
On Friday, North Carolina was called for Trump and Georgia for Biden, giving the president-elect a 306-232 Electoral College win over Trump.
A lot of voters just didn’t like Trump, Keis said.
“Call me back when they declare the race for Trump,” he added.