Congress nears agreement to reform Electoral College vote count

Lisa Desjardins:

It’s the law that dates back to the 1880s, after the tumultuous election of 1876 led to all sorts of problems, with different competing lists of delegates and voters.

This law was put in place to try to have a very clear process on exactly how the certification of the electoral college was done. It spells out what the role of Congress is, exactly what is happening, exactly what was supposed to happen on January 6, what is the role of the vice president, all of that.

But because this particular law, rarely seen or rarely talked about, is obscure in some ways, it led to these questions on January 6th and conspiracy theories that could — that it could be changed, and also open up the raises objections to Congress itself.

So let’s see what the current situation is and what this reform framework would do. Currently, under the Voter Count Act, to trigger a challenge to a voter count, all it takes is one member of the House and one member of the Senate to challenge a particular state’s voters list.

What this framework would do is radically change the fact that to require 20% of each house to object to that state’s voters list in order to trigger a challenge. Now also, in the law on the electoral count, it is indicated that the vice-president, as president of the Senate, actually announces the count, has a role. But it’s vague. It is not clear what the limits of the vice president are.

A lot of people – no one ever had a problem with that before the last election of 2020. What that would do is clarify, make it very clear that the vice president only has a ceremonial or ministerial role, as some of these people say.

The deal here, Judy, would also have money to help with security for state election officials, something I know you two just talked about.


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