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