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Sen. Sherrod Brown Tells Republicans To 'Stand Up' To Trump's False Election Claims

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks before the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at a rally at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Cleveland
Andrew Harnik
Associated Press
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks before the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden at a rally at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Cleveland.

As other states continue to tally the votes, President Donald Trump is making unfounded statements about voter fraud and the election process that have many elected officials speaking up.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says the process of counting absentee votes in other states is legitimate and should be respected, despite Trump's misleading claims.

"We have always counted every vote absentee, no matter how long it takes, and that's what the country needs to do. And there's no fraud," Brown said. "I think President Trump had in his mind that he was going to lose for weeks. And as a result, he wanted to question the integrity of the election."

Despite record-high levels of early and mail-in votes this election, in states like Pennsylvania, where results of the presidential election remain undecided, those ballots couldn't be counted until Election Day – slowing down the vote count. That's in contrast to Ohio, which start processing those ballots once they're received and reports early votes first on Election Night.

Brown believes speaking out against these types of claims by Trump should be bipartisan.

"I'm hopeful," Brown said, "maybe it's just a hope against futility, that Republicans now will start standing up, saying, 'Mr. President, this is, this is wrong. You've got to, we've got to count all the ballots. Stop. Quit questioning this. Quit saying the election's rigged.'"

During a Thursday briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine was asked about Trump's call to stop counting votes in Pennsylvania.

"We have a long tradition of counting all the votes. We have a long tradition of respect for the law. So the votes are continuing to be counted," DeWine said. "I think it's important for us as Ohioans and Americans to remember that we've done this before. We've done this for over two hundred years, we've done it better than about anybody or maybe anybody throughout the history of mankind, we do it exceedingly well. We have if there is a transition of power, we do that well."

But DeWine stopped short of showing concern about Trump making unverified claims of fraud from his position as president.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, the former Secretary of State, have also supported counting the votes, but have not made public statements directly addressing Trump's latest unsupported claims of fraud.

"Seems pretty straightforward: Every ballot cast in accordance with state law should be counted," Portman tweeted Friday. "Those that are not cast in accordance should not be counted."

Husted had said the lag in other states highlights Ohio's more efficient system.

"There are legitimate reasons why it's taking them a long time. We shouldn't be as concerned with speed as we are accuracy," Husted said. "We need to make sure that everybody slows down to make sure the count is correct."

As of Friday afternoon, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden had pulled aheadin the vote count of several states still tallying results, including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Nevada. Those votes represented legally-cast absentee ballots that were not processed and tabulated until the polls closed on Tuesday evening.

The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in several states seeking to halt the counting of ballots, many of which have been denied by judges. Trump released a written statement Friday saying that the American people deserve "full transparency."

"From the beginning we have said that all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn," Trump claimed. "We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government."

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.