Suggested Electoral Count Act changes draw broad support : NPR

  
Via:  sandy-2021492  •  4 months ago  •  51 comments

By:   NPR. org

Suggested Electoral Count Act changes draw broad support : NPR
The proposal, aimed at reforming the widely criticized 135-year-old law governing the process of casting and counting Electoral College votes, has garnered widespread support among election experts.

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S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A newly unveiled proposal aimed at reforming the Electoral Count Act, a widely criticized 135-year-old law governing the process of casting and counting Electoral College votes, has garnered widespread support among election experts.

The 1887 Electoral Count Act has long been lambasted by legal experts, who argue the law is poorly written, vague and antiquated.

"Imagine that there was a law on the books requiring you to travel by horse and buggy. That is literally what the Electoral Count Act is like," Rebecca Green, co-director of the election law program at the College of William & Mary, told Here & Now.

The proposed changes, mapped out Wednesday by a bipartisan group of senators, are aimed at ensuring a peaceful transition of power, a tradition that came under threat in 2021, when then-President Donald Trump led a pressure campaign on state and congressional lawmakers, and his own vice president, to overturn the election results.

Elections


A bipartisan Senate group announces a deal on reforming the Electoral Count Act


The reforms would clarify that the vice president has a "solely ministerial" role in counting Electoral College votes as president of the Senate, and make it harder for lawmakers to challenge a state's electoral votes.

Lawmakers have warned that waiting to address the flaws in the existing law could lead to additional confusion and chaos in subsequent elections, as many fear a repeat of 2021.

"If you're not sleeping well at night about the 2024 election, I think you can sleep a lot better if this bill passes," Ned Foley, director of the election law program at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, told Here & Now.

Thus far, the proposed changes have received broad support — though some on the left say they don't go far enough.

Yuval Levin, a senior fellow at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, praised the proposal as "constructive, balanced, and very promising."

"This is a very good set of reforms," Levin wrote in an op-ed in the National Review. "The bulk of them are directed to avoiding a repeat of the sorts of problems we saw in 2020 — a situation in which the states all did their jobs but members of Congress, at the behest of the defeated incumbent president, moved to sow doubt about the outcome by capitalizing on the vagueness and looseness of the ECA."

Similarly, Andy Craig of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute wrote the existing law is a "ticking time bomb and an invitation to a constitutional crisis" and called the proposed reform a "major step forward in fixing that problem."

"Between concerns that this bill would be too narrow and only make cosmetic changes at the behest of Republicans, versus prior Democratic plans that went too far and were overcomplicated, this announcement strikes a happy medium," Craig wrote.

The proposal is also getting support from other corners.

The nonpartisan organization Business for America is mobilizing the business community with a sign-on letter to support the passage of the Electoral Count Reform Act.

"The future of our republic relies upon effective election administration, public trust in the results, and the peaceful transfer of power — and so do our markets and businesses," Sarah Bonk, the founder and CEO of Business for America, said in a statement. "Our country cannot afford a constitutional crisis."

Foley, of Ohio State, noted that the timing of passing the reformed legislation is critical.

"It's to each party's advantage now behind the veil of ignorance to lock in place these procedures, because as much as people are focusing on maybe one party trying to make mischief, you know, after the 2024 elections, either party could make mischief under the current system," he said. "And so that's why it's much better to have both parties now agree to eliminate all possibility of mischief."


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sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1  seeder  sandy-2021492    4 months ago
"This is a very good set of reforms," Levin wrote in an op-ed in the National Review. "The bulk of them are directed to avoiding a repeat of the sorts of problems we saw in 2020 — a situation in which the states all did their jobs but members of Congress, at the behest of the defeated incumbent president, moved to sow doubt about the outcome by capitalizing on the vagueness and looseness of the ECA."
 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1    4 months ago

change the electoral vote threshold and award 100 electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2  Drinker of the Wry    4 months ago

There is nothing that should be controversial in this Act.  It should be quickly passed, with a large, bipartisan majority.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
3  Dulay    4 months ago

Glad that they are also addressing Trump's denying President Elect Biden with funding by proposing the PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION IMPROVEMENT ACT.

Now they need to codify that the DOD and State Department are required to brief the President Elect.

Trump's petty bullshit was unacceptable. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1  Tessylo  replied to  Dulay @3    4 months ago

That hateful steaming pile did the best he could to fuck things up for President Biden as he prepared to waddle out of the White House after his failed insurrection

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     4 months ago

Hopefully, this act will pass quickly.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Masters Silent
5  SteevieGee    4 months ago

Anybody in Congress voting against this bill should be tarred and feathered and run out of Washington on a burro.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
5.1  Dulay  replied to  SteevieGee @5    4 months ago

I like your subtle touch. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Professor Guide
6  Thrawn 31    4 months ago

No brainer. Fat fuck laid bare how vulnerable our democratic republic is.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7  TᵢG    4 months ago

The following is coped from: 

BEGIN QUOTE


How would the law change?

As the law exists now, only one member of the House and one member of the Senate are needed to challenge any state's set of electors. ( These are the lawmakers who objected to the Electoral College count in 2021.)

The updated language would raise that threshold, shifting the requirement to 20% of the members of each chamber.

The proposal would also enact a few measures "aimed at ensuring that Congress can identify a single, conclusive slate of electors from each state," according to a fact sheet . The provisions include:

  • identifying "each state's Governor, unless otherwise specified in the laws or constitution of a state in effect on Election Day, as responsible for submitting the certificate of ascertainment identifying that state's electors;"
  • and requiring "Congress to defer to slates of electors submitted by a state's executive pursuant to the judgments of state or federal courts."

And the measure would "strike a provision of an archaic 1845 law that could be used by state legislatures to override the popular vote in their states by declaring a 'failed election' — a term that is not defined in the law."

The bill would also reaffirm that the "constitutional role of the Vice President, as the presiding officer of the joint meeting of Congress, is solely ministerial."

Some of the reforms came in part from proposals issued after the Democratic-led House Administration Committee shared a report in January, completed after months of review from legal experts .

The measure to reform the Electoral Count Act also includes a section to provide guidelines for when a new administration can receive federal resources for their transition into office.


END QUOTE

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
7.1  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @7    4 months ago

Thanks for posting this.

Until January 6th, I think a lot of people didn't realize just how easy it could have been to override the election results.  If a few more dishonest people had been holding office in some states, we could have had both the popular and electoral vote overturned.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1    4 months ago

Are you thanking those Repub office holders?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
7.1.2  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.1    4 months ago

Do they deserve more praise than any other elected official doing his or her job?  Is not breaking the law now to be considered especially praiseworthy?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.2    4 months ago
Do they deserve more praise than any other elected official doing his or her job?

More?  No.  Praise? yes.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
7.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.2    4 months ago

jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
7.1.5  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.3    4 months ago
More?  No.  Praise? yes.

Elected officials deserve no praise for NOT Breaking LAWS. The Executive Branch is    supposed to carry out and Enforce Laws. The house and senate to legislate, while the Judicial Branch is there to interpret. How the heck do you find them deserved of praise ? for NOT breaking LAWS  ?  Do we need to give everyone participation trophies for not going along with an insurrection and attempted coup de tata ?   FCK THEM. Obey the Law and respect our Constitution, cause Trump has pushed so many envelopes and exposed so many flaws, and all  because the GOP REFUSED to hold him accountable.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
7.1.6  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.3    4 months ago

Well, then, I thank them for not being criminals.  They deserve as much thanks for that as every other non-criminal.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
7.1.7  afrayedknot  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.1.5    4 months ago

“…all  because the GOP REFUSED to hold him accountable.”

Other than the few, who shall be primaried, for the sole sin of speaking the truth. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
7.1.8  igknorantzrulz  replied to  afrayedknot @7.1.7    4 months ago

What has the GOP party morphed into where when one stands by that which is TRUE, their party PUNISHES THEM as they prefer LIARS like Trump ?   WTF  ! A total embarrassment is the current LYING in DENIAL Party that has what, 125 candidates who are still not ok with admitting that Biden WON the Damn election and there was NO ELCTION STOLEN, as it was investigated, in depth, and there was NO ELECTION FRAUD capable of shifting the Presidency to Trump. Ignorance was not meant to rule, but man, it sure as shit ain't the exception!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.9  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.1.5    4 months ago
Elected officials deserve no praise for NOT Breaking LAWS.

I was refereeing to election officials, not the Legislature.

How the heck do you find them deserved of praise ?

Those in counties in AZ, GA, PA etc. resisted and dealt with a lot of shit from rabid right wingers.  

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.10  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.6    4 months ago
The deserve as much thanks for that as every other non-criminal.

Many election officials are volunteers and those that are appointed, paid positions make little for their work.  I'm thankful that we have people still that step up and perform civic duties and then have to take a load of crap from the disgruntled radical losers.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
7.1.11  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.9    4 months ago

So you were referencing those like the two ladies in Georgia who were receiving Death Threats thanks to Trumpullthinskins LIES, as opposed to Joe Schmooe that the people elected. I can agree with a certain amount of praise for those under great pressure by rabid 'righties' and the delusional 45, but, what has the Republican Party come to, where to do the obvious RIGHT thing, they now should be praised. Standards are now substandard/. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.12  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.1.11    4 months ago
So you were referencing those like the two ladies in Georgia

Yes, the ones you said to:

FCK THEM

and Sandy said:

The deserve as much thanks for that as every other non-criminal.
 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
7.1.13  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.12    4 months ago

Well then be a tad more specific, cause those other elected CLOWNS , FCK THEM ! 

FCK Barr, FCK Pence, and so ,many damn others who KNEW Trump was LYING, yet had to be under oath and threatened, in order  to tell the damn TRUTH

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.14  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  igknorantzrulz @7.1.13    4 months ago
Well then be a tad more specific, cause those other elected CLOWNS , FCK THEM ! 

It helps if you read  the thread before shouting out.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
7.1.15  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.14    4 months ago

i read the seed. I am not the only one who misinterpreted your vague assertion.

"Repub office holders"  that you expect us to thank, doesn't exactly specify election officials threatened by the wound up 'righties' and Trump, but feel free to parse words, but, i too, can parse a few, as well, and no one ever seems to find that very swell. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
7.1.16  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.12    4 months ago

I can't find any information about Mrs. Freeman and Ms. Moss's political affiliations.  Please, do tell, if they're Republicans, do you think they deserve more thanks than if they were Democrats?

Your implications are very near to trolling. 

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
7.1.17  afrayedknot  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.10    4 months ago

“to take a load of crap from the disgruntled radical losers.”

And just who were those losers?

The trump sycophants who have taken the worst page from his playbook and refuse to concede even in the face of obvious defeat.

This is the radical group, the group that touts their patriotic roots while defiling all that that means. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.18  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.16    4 months ago
Your implications are very near to trolling

Huh?

Not that it's very important to me, but perhaps the "vagueness" started with you comment:

If a few more dishonest people had been holding office in some states, we could have had both the popular and electoral vote overturned.

I was think that you meant election officials which are typically Republican in Repub counties, but that might be my mistake, maybe you were refereeing to others "holding office in some states".  If so, award yourself and igknorantrulz the win.  

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
7.1.19  Dulay  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.10    4 months ago

'Election officials' are NOT volunteers. Many poll workers are. 

Most county 'election officials' are members of Election Boards and they are bipartisan. That fact is what makes Trump's Big Lie so ridiculous. The MASS conspiracy it would require would be impossible to hide. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.20  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Dulay @7.1.19    4 months ago

Agree

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.21  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  afrayedknot @7.1.17    4 months ago

Ok

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Masters Silent
7.1.22  SteevieGee  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @7.1.3    4 months ago
More?  No.  Praise? yes.

Should a tee ball tee get a trophy for pitching a no hitter?

I do my job everyday.  I don't break the law.  I support the Constitution.  Do I deserve praise?   Of course not.  It's my job.  I go to work.  I take care of Mrs. Gee. If these GOP politicians need praise for not breaking their vow to uphold the Constitution they have no business being there.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
7.1.23  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  SteevieGee @7.1.22    4 months ago

[removed]

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
7.2  bccrane  replied to  TᵢG @7    4 months ago
shifting the requirement to 20% of the members of each chamber.

Getting rid of the voice of the individual, even if that individual has what could be legitimate concerns questioning an election.  

With these new rules that individual now has to convince some of their own, but also those on the opposing party who don't wish to question the outcome, basically eliminating challenging an election.  This cuts both ways.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  bccrane @7.2    4 months ago

If it is a legitimate concern then 20% should be an easy burden to meet.   These folks talk among themselves prior to these events.    20% does not concern me.

Keep in mind that we are talking about certified election results.   A legitimate concern would be tantamount to indicting a state for failing to properly certify its results.   Not very likely but, again, if a state did truly screw things up 20% should be easily met.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
7.2.2  Ozzwald  replied to  bccrane @7.2    4 months ago
Getting rid of the voice of the individual, even if that individual has what could be legitimate concerns questioning an election. 

If the concern is legitimate, there will be more than a single individual voicing it.  Just look at the number voicing the ILlegitimate concerns from the last election.

With these new rules that individual now has to convince some of their own, but also those on the opposing party who don't wish to question the outcome

As it should be.  If that individual cannot rally support from his/her own party, they do not have the facts on their side.  Evidence would be the major deciding factor, not political propaganda.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
7.2.3  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.1    4 months ago

I think it would be much more effective if the requirement was a given percentage of the Representatives and at least one Senator from the state being challenged. At least then they would be speaking 'for' their state AND putting their own jobs on the line. If you're going to try and disenfranchise voters, they should be from your own state. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  Dulay @7.2.3    4 months ago

Makes sense, a senator from the state should know best and certainly has a much better chance of getting to the bottom of things within their state.   And, of course, there is the importance of accountability to the voters.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
7.2.5  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.4    4 months ago

Any Representative is more capable of getting accurate information in his/her state than any 'outsider'. They know the county election officials, the county clerks and even many of the poll workers. They know what happened in their 'neck of the woods'. 

I also think that if they successfully challenge a state's electoral college votes, ALL of the Federal votes should be null and void. After all, those ballots are what decided what electors were seated. Perhaps the state will either redo the election or their Congressional representation will just have to remain open for 2/4 years. 

We have to make it as hard as possible to void the popular vote in any state and make lawmakers who do so pay a price. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7.2.6  TᵢG  replied to  Dulay @7.2.5    4 months ago

Good points.   (I interpret your comment to mean all the federal votes for the state would be null and void.)

Seems to me that our system fundamentally works and that the kind of fraud Trump claimed will continue to be rare and insignificant.   However, Trump has lowered the bar when it comes to foul play.   He has established a precedent at the presidential level that ultimately encourages people to try to scam the system.   In other words, he has to some degree desensitized people to fraud.   This will not open the flood gates of course, but this incremental movement is going in the wrong direction.   One benign but obnoxious result is that I expect to see a lot more losing candidates engaging in tantrums.

The flip side is that Trump's con-job coupled with his various attempts to coerce others to make unethical / unconstitutional acts has triggered an alarm with good actions such as those described in this seed.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
7.2.7  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.6    4 months ago

NPR had a segment with a CO county election official who stated that no matter how clearly, she explains procedures and processes, people don't believe her. She spoke about how they dodged a bullet when most of the 'Big Lie' supporters lost their primaries and about her hope that should any of them get elected, once they are educated on the system, they'll have faith in it. 

I'm already signed up to be a poll worker and told them to send me where they think it will be most contentious. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7.2.8  TᵢG  replied to  Dulay @7.2.7    4 months ago

Would be interesting to be a fly on that wall.   jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
7.2.9  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @7.2.8    4 months ago

They were very 'encouraged' when I volunteered for 'combat duty'. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
8  Ender    4 months ago

Do I have to read? Damnit...

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
9  Hallux    4 months ago

 " ... some on the left say they don't go far enough."

The lingering vestiges of the late 1960's meme that swept the West: "Be realistic, demand the impossible!"

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
10  Drinker of the Wry    4 months ago

Sandy started this thread with:

If a few more dishonest people had been holding office in some states, we could have had both the popular and electoral vote overturned.

If election officials in several key states had cheated or lie and gave credence to Trump's claims, we might have had a different outcome.  The Jan 6 Committee  has investigated the threats made to election officials and workers in at least  Arizona and Georgia, as Trump  tried to get them to overturn the election results in their states. 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
10.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @10    4 months ago
If election officials in several key states had cheated or lie and gave credence to Trump's claims, we might have had a different outcome.

Of which an example comes up with only 2 words, where a state was willing to spend millions to try and change their results.

Cyber Ninjas

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
10.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Ozzwald @10.1    4 months ago

Did you even look at the Cyber Ninjas results? 

They confirmed the election results in case you missed it.

Also, there were still potentially 200 voter fraud cases. Which they admitted as well.

"As we've said before, we stand behind the results we canvassed," Jason Berry, a spokesperson for Maricopa County, said in an email. In mid-July, the Associated Press reported that, of the more than 3 million ballots cast in Arizona, elections officials had found fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud.

So no, Republicans didn't try and flip the election results; especially when the 3rd party they hired confirmed the election results. 

This is the reason you saw push back against all of the Democrat imposed election laws for Covid from Republicans. Elections only work through transparency; and the 2020 elections were anythiung but.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
10.1.2  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Ronin2 @10.1.1    4 months ago

And?

Why hire a company with no experience in the work to do an election audit, and moreover, one whose owner publicly supported one candidate over the other and promoted the Big Lie?

We know why.  The "audit" wasn't about ensuring the election was fair.  It was about discrediting it.

Elections only work through transparency

They also affirmed that journalists would be prohibited from covering the audit in person inside Phoenix’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The only way reporters would be permitted inside, Bennett said, is if they work six-hour shifts as volunteer observers, during which time they would be prohibited from take photographs, recording or even taking notes with pen and paper.
Reporter Jen Fifield of the Arizona Republic  worked a volunteer shift Friday and live-tweeted the first half of her shift. She  revealed that the audit team was using blue pens , which election guidelines prohibit because ballot tabulation machines read any markings made in blue or black ink. Because of that, only red pens are permitted near ballots. She tweeted that she informed Logan that the audit team shouldn’t be using blue pens around ballots, and revealed that Logan didn’t know the voting machines could read blue ink. Fifield later tweeted that the team  switched to all red and green pens  before any paper ballots were brought to the floor of the coliseum.

After her tweets about the blue pens,  audit organizers told her she could no longer tweet during her shift .

A group of election integrity experts working with an organization called the National Task Force on Election Crises held a conference call with reporters Friday morning to discuss some of their concerns with the audit, which is helmed by a company that has no experience in elections-related work and is led by a man who helped spread conspiracy theories about the election.

“I’m not going to mince words. I think the activities that are taking place here are reckless and they in no way, shape or form resemble an audit,” said Jennifer Morrell, an elections administration and auditing expert with the consulting firm The Elections Group.
 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
10.1.3  Dulay  replied to  Ronin2 @10.1.1    4 months ago
Also, there were still potentially 200 voter fraud cases. Which they admitted as well.

One would think that the 'potential' fraud cases from June 2021 would STILL be uncleared at this late date. 

 
 

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