Lawmakers vowed to complete their official acceptance of states' electoral votes Jan. 6 after protestors delayed the process in Congress that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win.
The angry mob surrounded and breached the U.S. Capitol in protests that left five people dead.
In a slew of tweets, Tennessee lawmakers condemned the actions.
Gov. Bill Lee, R-Tennessee, called them “inexcusable” and an “affront to our founding principles and freedoms.” U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said they're “truly despicable” and “unacceptable.”
But Meredith McGehee, executive director for the advocacy group Issue One, said it isn't enough to condemn the mob after the fact.
She believed lawmakers who questioned the election results, including 29 members of the Tennessee General Assembly, have eroded public faith in voter representation.
“So, when you have about a fifth of the Senate and maybe 150 representatives start saying that the system is rigged or is untrustworthy, then it begins to erode kind of the basis of how a democratic republic is supposed to work,” McGehee said.
Blackburn and U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tennessee, both said they planned to oppose the electoral results.
Last week, state Rep. Bruce Griffey, R-Paris, sent a letter to Tennessee's congressional delegation, asking members to support a congressional investigation into what he described as “widespread voter fraud” in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin.
McGehee said political turmoil over election results also plays in the favor of foreign adversaries like China and Russia.
“This is kind of the lit match that we're playing with at this point, and that's why this is so dangerous,” McGehee said. “Whether you think, you know, President Trump is your pick or not, it is dangerous for the system.”
The Senate reconvened after the Jan. 6 riots and restarted the Electoral College count.
Following the protests, major social media companies, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, removed a video message released by President Trump. Twitter said it locked the president's account for at least 12 hours and later permanently suspended his account.