Beware of a Recurring Event of the Dec. 6 Congress is watching changes in Electoral Count Law

Photo of author

By georgeskef

The members of the special House committee that has been investigating the Capitol protest are among those calling for the overhaul of the statute that dates back to more than 100 years that was enacted to deal with disputed elections.

The drive to revise the Electoral Count Act of 1887 that was passed over 100 years ago in aftermath of a bitterly contested presidential election has become more urgent over the past few weeks, as new details have been revealed about the nature of. Trump’s plan to take advantage of the law’s provisions to secure the presidency.

The president. Trump and his allies by using a distorted version of law attempted to persuade Vice-President Mike Pence to throw out legitimate results after Congress convened in the joint session on January. 6, to carry out the formal count of votes.

It was. Pence’s inability to take action that caused an enclave that included Mr. Trump’s backers to shout “Hang Mike Pence,” as they took over the Capitol delay the proceedings while lawmakers fled to safety. Members of Congress as well as Vice President Biden eventually returned to complete the count, ignoring the demands of loyalists to the president. Trump and formalizing President Biden’s win.

If the Vice President. Pence done as Mr. Trump wanted — or had the majority of Congress decided to support the criticisms made by Mr. Trump’s supporters the outcome might be different.

“We are aware that we came very in the middle of a constitutional emergency because of the confusion that was brewing in many people’s minds , which was clearly cultivated by the previous president about what the role of Congress consisted of,” said Zach Wamp an ex- Republican congressman in Tennessee who is co-chairman for the Reformers Caucus at Issue One an organization that is bipartisan and demands changes to the way elections are conducted.

Republicans within Congress have repeatedly resisted attempts by Democrats to amend election laws following the 2020 election crisis however it’s not certain if a plan to overhaul the Electoral Count Act will fare better. Experts have said that the law is “almost incomprehensible,” and an overhaul has the backing of several prominent conservative organizations.

“There are a handful members of the committee working to come up with reform proposals that might be popular across the spectrum from constitutional scholars from conservative to liberal,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat from California and an active member on the committee. 6-member committee. “We might very well face an issue in the future election, which could be due to the interpretation of a badly written, confusing and unclear statute.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and vice-chairwoman on the committee said on Thursday she believed that “the 1887 Electoral Count Act is directly in dispute” in which case the committee will recommend modifications to the law.

The Constitution leaves it to Congress to determine the final results of the presidential election shortly prior to Inauguration Day. Article II Section 1 stipulates that “The head of the Senate will, in presence of both the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, open all certificates and then, the votes will be recorded.”

However, the procedure is further described within the Electoral Count Act which states that when lawmakers go through the results of elections in every state in the Joint session of Congress Members of both either the House and Senate are able to submit objections to the results in writing. This may be affirmed when the majority in both chambers is in favor. If the state submits more than one slate to Congress the governor’s official electors will prevail the slates, according to the law that unless a majority of both chambers of Congress voted against the ballots.

The law was created after the contest in 1876 that pitted Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden and has dictated the manner in which Congress organizes elections, usually without incident, since.

What transpired the day of Jan. 6 tested the limits of its capabilities.

Both the arguments made from Mr. Trump’s supporters ( that attempted to invalidate the electoral results in Pennsylvania in addition to Arizona and Arizona — were rejected in the House however the vast majority of Republicans were in favor of their arguments. However, in the time after, it’s been evident that these issues are part of a larger strategy. John Eastman, a lawyer who advised Trump, was a lawyer who advised. Trump, drafted a strategy that called for sending to the vice president, Mr. Pence, who presided over the joint session during his capacity as the president of the Senate and vice versa, a list of Trump voters from seven states, which were won by Biden. Biden.

He. Eastman and other allies of Mr. Trump suggested pressuring the vice president to support the alternative list of Trump electors, and to eject legitimate votes to Biden. Biden. If this were to happen the president. Eastman argued, a decision by those delegations of states in the House that favors Republicans and allowing Republicans to remain in power, could ensure that Mr. Trump in power. (Mr. Eastman this week told the committee that he was planning to use the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to not answer to the questions of the panel.)

“The outdated law that governs elections Electoral College voting process is far too unclear and prime for abuse and has led to baseless complaints that impeded the process of democracy,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee. “It’s time to revise the law to protect our democratic process.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, has shown that he is open to changing the statute. A small number of senators, comprising senator Angus King, independent of Maine is researching possible solutions.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both local and state levels is also on board along with some groups who study the issue of elections and issues, such as Issue One and the National Task Force on Election Crises.

In documents distributed via Capitol Hill, the task team — which describes the Electoral Count Act “severely flawed” and proposes broad modifications. They suggest limiting the legal grounds that a legislator can use to challenge the counting of the votes of a state and stating that the vice-president’s role within the process only executive, and therefore does not have the power to decide on how to eliminate a state’s voting. The group also suggested having clearer deadlines for states to pick their own candidates.

This effort could be the subject of the next effort by Congress to amend the law on elections, following the fact that Republicans have blocked legislationto create a national standard regarding access to ballots as a result of voting restrictions that are being implemented at the state levels and the more streamlined measure to reinstate parts of the historic Voting Rights Act, which was weakened because of Supreme Court rulings.

Contrary to the legislation, there is a significant acceptance among Republicans in the absence of Congress to overhaul the Electoral Count Act, though only a handful of Republicans are in Congress have publicly supported the idea of a revision. Famous conservative writers like Dan McLaughlin of National Review, Walter Olson at the Cato Institute, Kevin R. Kosar of the American Enterprise Institute and Ramesh Ponnuru of Bloomberg have all argued in favor of changing the law.

Trey Grayson, a former Republican secretary of state from Kentucky He said in his interview worried that, if there were no amendments to the law there will be a future attempt to profit from the law by both parties.

“I fear that this going to become routine due to the structure of incentive is in place,” he said. “It’s very easy for someone to play the base, be apprehensive that they’re likely to lose, and gain the benefits of appeal towards the majority. Those actions hurt our democracy.”

Leave a Comment