“First, I would offer my congratulations to President-elect Biden on his apparent victory ― he loves this country, and I wish him every success,” Collins said in a statement.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris “should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern” on Inauguration Day, scheduled for Jan. 20, Collins said.
Emily Murphy, a Trump-appointed federal official whose job includes signing off on the president-elect’s win to begin the mammoth task of transitioning between presidents, has refused to do so, potentially delaying the official transfer of power, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Collins said Monday that Trump should be “afforded the opportunity” to challenge the results of the election. Trump has repeatedly ― and baselessly ― claimed there was widespread voter fraud and ballot-counting irregularities during the election.
“I know that many are eager to have certainty right now,” Collins said in her statement. “While we have a clear direction, we should continue to respect that process. I urge people to be patient. The process has not failed our country in more than 200 years, and it is not going to fail our country this year.”
Collins won a fifth term in the Senate last week following her toughest reelection bid to date, facing challenges from Democrat Sara Gideon and independents Lisa Savage and Max Linn. Ahead of the 2016 election, Collins wrote that she could not vote for Trump. This year, she refused to answer whether she voted for him.
Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Ben Sasse of Nebraska have already congratulated Biden and Harris on their win. But the vast majority of GOP lawmakers have remained silent.
Others, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas, have continued to sow doubt about the election outcome. On Sunday, Graham told Fox News that Trump should not concede.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post said Collins was the third Republican senator to congratulate Biden. In fact, she appears to be the fourth.