Patterico's Pontifications

9/20/2022

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Help Safeguard Elections and Prevent Efforts To Overturn Presidential Election Results

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:07 am



[guest post by Dana]

You would think that this would be a no-brainer:

Republican Representative Liz Cheney introduced a bill Monday that would change how Congress counts presidential electors to reduce the chances of another effort to overturn election results like that mounted by former President Donald Trump last year.

Co-sponsored with Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, the legislation would direct challenges to state elections to courts and limit the vice president’s role in electoral vote-counting as “ministerial.” That grew out of Trump’s attempt to pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to take action as the Senate’s presiding officer during the counting of the Electoral College results to obstruct or delay formal certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

It also would raise the bar to challenge a state’s electors to one-third of both the House and Senate. Currently, if one member of Congress from each chamber objects to a presidential election during the arcane certification process, the chambers have to debate and hold a vote on the objection, as was done in 2021.

Additionally:

“The Electoral Count Act of 1887 should be amended to prevent other future unlawful efforts to overturn Presidential elections and to ensure future peaceful transfers of Presidential power,” the bill reads…“Our proposal is intended to preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” Cheney and Lofgren wrote. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the House and the Senate toward this goal.”

While this legislation makes it clear that the vice-president has absolutely no authority to interfere in the counting of electoral votes, the report also says that the threshold for Congress to object to electors would be raised by this bill and that it would also address the delays a state could make in counting and certifying its votes. Given what happened after the 2020 election, there can be no doubt that legislation to protect future presidential elections is absolutely necessary.

–Dana

37 Responses to “Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Help Safeguard Elections and Prevent Efforts To Overturn Presidential Election Results”

  1. Hello.

    P.S. Because one may not like the two women responsible for this piece of legislation does not mean that the legislation itself is bad or wrong. Nor does it erase the obvious need for such safeguarding.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. I don’t much care for Zoe Lofgren.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  3. This interesting:

    § 15. Counting electoral votes in Congress
    ……..
    (c) OBJECTIONS TO CERTIFICATE OF ELECTORAL VOTES.—
    ……..
    (2) GROUNDS FOR OBJECTIONS.

    (D) One or more of the State’s electoral votes were cast for a candidate who is ineligible for the office of president or vice president pursuant to—
    (i) article I, section 3, clause 7 of the Constitution of the United States; (barring anyone who has been impeached)

    (ii) article II, section 1, clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States; (barring anyone who is not 35 years old or not a natural born citizen)

    (iii) section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; (barring anyone who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States) or

    (iv) section 1 of the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. (barring anyone who has been elected twice to the Presidency)

    My emphasis. See page 32 at the link.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. While there is a need to clarify the VP’s powers, I don’t really see the need for making a challenge to a state’s electors a lot harder.

    Consider:

    1) It still requires a bicameral majority to invalidate a state total.
    2) Motions can be made without even the minimal support required now. That they are slapped down does not unmake them.
    3) The grandstanding will continue and perhaps increase, both in reaction to the unusual “seconding” requirements and to whatever election shenanigans are alleged.

    It is also unclear what happens with electoral vote reports that DESERVE to be challenged, such as votes cast by the legislature, or otherwise in contradiction to the state’s voter’s choice.

    If they added a line to the proposed law declaring that any electoral vote in contradiction to the state’s electoral results was automatically invalid, I’d be a lot happier with this.

    Except for the VP’s role, I see this mostly as fixing a problem that does not exist and ignoring one that does.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  5. MAGAWorld not amused:

    From Representative Republic To Mobocracy. Sedition/Treason imho. ….. Anti-Constitutional!!….They are violating their oath to protect the constitution. This is an attempt abort the most important part of the constitution. …..They have nothing else so they want to pass an act to justify their rigged Jan 6 kangaroo kourt which was a dud. …..The U.S. Constitution explicitly states that the presidential electors for each state will be chosen in the manner proscribed by each state legislature. I don’t see how Congress has any authority to put limitations on this. ……Election Day is almost meaningless from a constitutional standpoint. In fact, it has devolved into nothing more than a TV spectacle that shouldn’t be given the attention it receives. …..2nd amendment. Just saying…..They are proving that Pence was derelict in his duties. If there wasn’t a right, they wouldn’t be passing a bill to change it.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  6. Sad. Cheney removes all doubt when she works with that PoW.

    Colonel Haiku (76a1de)

  7. More MAGA reaction to the Senate proposal:

    The fact that they want to codify this into law tells you that they all know the VP’s role is not simply ceremonial. If it was clearly ceremonial, they wouldn’t need to do this. Tying up a few loose ends so it can’t happen again. …… What politicians on both sides of the aisle need to recognize is that if the people are not allowed to make changes peacefully via the ballot box, they will resort to move violent means to make changes…….A law with no authority. The duties and powers are delineated clearly in the Constitution. Without a Constitutional Amendment the law is of no effect. The law addressed was never used therefore never challenged in the SCOTUS. Pipe dreams of those that would rule the people! WWG1WGA! ……I though this was in the constitution, is it possible for legislators to CHANGE the constitution?? I thought changing the constitution was very difficult!! ……The election wasn’t just a little rigged…it was completely rigged. The evidence was overwhelming, so overwhelming it exposed the scam. Right now we are we are living in a Socialist Oligarchy. Mike Pence chose not to shine the light on the fraud. He made the cowards choice and bowed to the Oligarchy. Our country is being destroyed because of corruption and cowardice.

    Tell us how you really feel 🙂

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. And, in reading the bill, it actually protects electoral slates cast under the so-called National Popular Vote Compact, as that travesty (or other legislative usurpations) are not listed among the valid causes for objection.

    Even a bona fide case of mass electoral fraud is not a grounds for objection. ONLY a case of a false slate, an excluded elector or an excluded candidate is acceptable.

    The following could not be questioned:

    1) The Illinois EV of 1960, widely known to have been fraudulent
    2) A state which unlawfully excluded some citizens from voting.
    3) A state which unlawfully altered the vote tabulation.
    4) A state which directed votes to be cast contrary to the voter’s choice.

    While some of these might be argued in a court, no part of this law establishes any additional “standing” to do so, and most 2020 court challenges were dismissed on that basis.

    Not good enough.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  9. Rip, thank you for reading the Free Republic, so that we don’t have to. Clear your cookies.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  10. As I recall, I think there are 10 Republicans in the Senate who are on board with fixing the ECA. This could and should happen before year-end.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  11. Why does the number of members objecting need to be raised? It’s one & one now, which is not unusual parliamentary practice (mover and seconder). Nearly every election a bunch of dissatisfied customers makes a scene. If all they can do is force a vote, well, we don’t pay them by the hour so what’s the issue?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  12. As I recall, I think there are 10 Republicans in the Senate who are on board with fixing the ECA

    If you read this, this is a partisan “fix.” It addresses more than the VP thing and those additions are from the Democrat list, not the GOP one.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  13. Reading more closely…

    Could a attorney here please read 6.a.3.c.1.A and subsequent? Does this section preclude ANY selection of electors contrary to the state’s election totals? Or does the bolded language allow the legislature to use another source for choosing electors?

    (A) ACTIONS AUTHORIZED.—Any candidate for President or Vice President who appears on the ballot in a State who is aggrieved by a violation of subsection (a) with respect to such State, including by failing to certify the appointment of electors or because the certification does not accurately reflect the final election results of the State as modified by any recount or judicial or administrative proceeding conducted pursuant to State or Federal laws duly enacted prior to the day fixed by section of this title, may file an action against the Governor for such declaratory, injunctive, or other appropriate relief in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which the capital of the State is located to ensure the issuance and transmission of the certificate of appointment in compliance with the requirements of subsection (a), the Constitution of the United States, and any other Federal law.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  14. It doesn’t stop the Electoral Voter Compact fraud which destroys the Constitution so the bill is just posturing and does nothing to secure elections.

    NJRob (a5d807)

  15. “If you read this, this is a partisan “fix.” It addresses more than the VP thing and those additions are from the Democrat list, not the GOP one.”

    Works for them. Go get ‘em, Cheney… show those mad conservative skillz!

    Colonel Haiku (76a1de)

  16. “Electoral Voter Compact fraud”?

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  17. Kevin, I really don’t care whether the House bill is too “democratic”. It still has to be conferenced with the Senate, where 10 Republicans have to sign on for it go forward, and the Senate version is pretty good.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  18. Cheney and Lofgren wrote. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the House and the Senate toward this goal.”

    Not for long.

    DCSCA (23025c)

  19. (D) One or more of the State’s electoral votes were cast for a candidate who is ineligible for the office of president or vice president

    That should not be a grounds for notcounting the vote. That would make the opponent of someone who ran for president the newly elected president rather than the person who ran as vice president. Otherwise this is a scheme to advantage one party. I am surprised (or maybe not surprised – she’s pretty dumb – but I still should expect more) that Liz Cheney would fall for this..

    That someone is disqualified should be a separate vote or a court decision.

    (iii) section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; (barring anyone who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States) or

    The definition of that shouldn’t be fuzzy.

    Do the peoplewho drafted this billwant toend controversies,or try to take advantage of possible situations?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  20. 14. NJRob (a5d807) — 9/20/2022 @ 10:44 am

    It doesn’t stop the Electoral Voter Compact fraud which destroys the Constitution so the bill is just posturing and does nothing to secure elections.

    It’s not fraud but it can make the question of who won unanswerable. At least there would not be an overwhelming consensus of honest people.

    And what happens if different states come to different conclusions as to who won the popular vote? Do we say that each state gets to abide by its own final decision?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  21. This piece of legislation would be worse than Electoral Count Act. And if certain thins are now unsettled, that puts the bias in favor of reality.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  22. Why the pre-emptive shot if she can stand on her own two feet as a woman? Cheney is the lamest of lame ducks, she is viewed as myopically vindictive and that is how she burned all of her good will, so she won’t be allowed any wins by the GOP if they can help it. If she asked for a resolution to honor Mother Theresa, they’d try to shelve it and make Democrats carry her water… which they won’t unless it hurts the GOP
    The people that know Cheney best didn’t buy that any of her act was about principle, but god bless her that she was able to sell it to people who believe the Vanity Fair version of who she is and who haven’t spent everyday with her for the last 6 years.
    I do agree Cheney belongs in the “Trump hating water carrier Hall of Fame” and clearly edges out Kinzinger in this matter, so she may even be the GOAT in category

    steveg (aca30e)

  23. You know what’s really funny about this, in a sick, ironic way?

    Suppose that Trump runs in 2024 and wins a majority of the electoral vote. Looking a the list of legal objections beginning on page 32 of the linked text, we see that one of the causes of action is

    (D) One or more of the State’s electoral 11 votes were cast for a candidate who is ineligible 12 for the office of president or vice president pursuant to—

    (iii) section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; or…

    So, in the guise of reform, asserting that it attempting to block the kind of coup that Trump is accused of, it plants a method for denying someone like Donald Trump his electoral victory.

    Now, people do disagree on that section of the 14th —

    * Does it pertain to the President?
    * Does it pertain to activity 150 years after the Civil War or was it only for that narrow purpose?
    * Does someone have to be convicted in a fact-based due process proceeding?

    This bill simply assumes the answers are Yes, No and No and possibly makes the question non-justiciable. So, in the guise of reform we have a procedure that SPECIFICALLY allows revoking a bone fide Electoral College win.

    Do better, because the seeds for Civil War II are hidden in this gem.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  24. * Some of the line numbers snuck through

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  25. It still has to be conferenced with the Senate, where 10 Republicans have to sign on for it go forward, and the Senate version is pretty good.

    I am old enough to remember the day when I learned that someone telling me “Don’t worry, it will be fixed before it’s enacted” clearly thought I was a fool for believing them.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  26. Besides, Paul, the Democrats view these issues as features.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  27. #22 So, Cheney has no career left in the GOP. She has no career in the Democratic Party. She’s heir to Daddy’s fortune. So money in place of power really isn’t there as a motive.

    So, please, what course other than principle, explains her actions?

    Appalled (3a74fb)

  28. 27… who cares, she’s toast.

    Colonel Haiku (76a1de)

  29. #28

    I agree with that. So why bother trying to ascribe some secret non-obvious unprincipled motive to her? (Which is what #22 does) Why not take some of us anti-Trump folks at face value?

    Appalled (bfc916)

  30. Unsurprising, since it is Trump’s party……

    The House voted 229-203 on Wednesday to pass a bill aimed at preventing future election subversion, inspired by the investigation into Jan. 6 and a determination to prevent such an attack from occurring again.
    ……..
    Democrats unanimously supported the bill and were joined by just nine Republicans; 203 Republicans voted “no.”

    The nine GOP “yes” votes came from Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Chris Jacobs of New York, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina and Fred Upton of Michigan. All nine are retiring from Congress or lost their primaries.
    …….
    House Republican leaders pressured their members to vote against the bill. In an email to Republican offices, they called it “the Democrats’ latest attempt at a federal takeover of elections.”
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  31. Her vindictiveness is a secret only to you I guess

    steveg (cbab39)

  32. Kevin, at 13 – i read it as saying that the state has to follow whatever rules are in place on election day. so the legislature could choose to not have an election, but they can’t have an election and then change their mind about having an election.

    aphrael (d9db76)

  33. @27. Are you kidding????

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8uU_4XBugA

    DCSCA (f339cc)

  34. Order the Cheney Breakfast at all participating Wyoming Denny’s…

    Toast.

    With a side order of toast.

    DCSCA (f339cc)

  35. Daughter Darth best remember that Trump only boasted about shooting somebody on Fifth Avenue. While her Daddy Darth actually DID shoot somebody in the face and chest — and got away with it.

    DCSCA (4b8b01)

  36. Reading comments on the mystery of Liz Chaney’s behavior.

    For DCSCA, the secret is that Cheney traded power for vanity. She could be the biggest Never-Trump of the world,and losing her seat, her power base in the GOP, didn’t matter because she would be…famous. It’s plausible — in the way a Harold Robbins bestseller is plausible.

    For steveg — the secret is simple vindictiveness. She just hates Trump and she’s going to get him, no matter what the cost. It’s plausible — if you watch a steady diet of Film Noirs and read angry post world war II private eye books where a bad woman ruins the lives of good men in an amoral world, just because.

    I don’t buy it — it des not reflect the impulse towards power that motivates today’s GOP. It also just assumes evil motive when the face value motive is at least as likely an explanation. As Freud puts it, sometimes revulsion against a coup attempt is just revulsion against a coup attempt.

    Appalled (54fa4a)

  37. If you love this country, preach unity, not division.

    Colonel Haiku (9faf71)

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