Electoral Count Act Reform: Help Us Support

The 1887 Electoral Count Act needs an update in order to clarify ambiguities that some might try to exploit in future elections, and to align the law with the will of the American people. American voters made one thing perfectly clear during the midterm elections: they want elections conducted in accordance with the rule of law, with legitimate challenges decided in court and with court decisions accepted so that there can be a peaceful transfer of power. We know this because the midterms resulted in the wholesale defeat of 2020 election deniers seeking to become state election officials. Amending the Electoral Count Act furthers the will of the voters by setting its sights on preventing a repeat of the horrific events of January 6, 2021. Among other things, the amended law would make clear that the role of the Vice President – as presiding officer of Congress during the ratification of the Electoral College votes cast by the fifty states and Washington DC. – is ministerial, i.e. the Vice President cannot overturn the electoral college votes. The legislation also expands the number of members of each Congressional chamber needed to raise an objection to a state’s electors (currently, only one Senator and one Representative are required).

As of this writing, there are two versions of the bill, one in the Senate and one in the House, both with bipartisan support. Reconciliation of the differences between the two bills is needed, and now is the time to urge your Representative and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to get this done. To find contact information for each, click here and input your home address. You can call or email, and the message can be short and simple: “I am your constituent and I want both houses to work together to pass legislation that amends, clarifies and updates the Electoral Count Act before the end of the year.”

For further details regarding the two bills, click here for the City Bar’s most recent statement.