Congressional lawmakers are preparing to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA) so no powerful politician can manipulate presidential election results.
This decision of lawmakers came a day after the January 6 Congressional Committee recommended the Department of Justice should prosecute former President Donald Trump for trying to overturn the 2020 election results.
Congress Tries to Pass Election Reforms
A group of bipartisan senators is seeking to bring reforms in the ECA to make it harder for incumbent presidents to overturn election results.
According to Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, the reforms in the ECA will be included in the government funding bill, which is supposed to be passed this week. The ECA reforms are backed by 39 senators belonging to both political parties.
GOOD NEWS: The Electoral Count Act, my bipartisan legislation w/ @SenSusanCollins to reform & modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887, will be included in the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations bill & will receive a vote in the Senate this week. MORE: https://t.co/ZRsO43SB8q
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) December 20, 2022
This is not the first time that Congress is trying to change the ECA. In January this year, the House Administration Committee also issued a report to address the reforms in the ECA.
Similarly, Seligman issued his own 87-page report, in which he discussed various ways in which the ECA is prone to be abused by powerful politicians.
Meanwhile, election experts have also appreciated the efforts of senators to protect the election results.
Matthew Seligman, an election law expert, noted even if the ECA reforms are included in the government spending bill at the last minute, the efforts are still appreciated since this will reduce the risks of election manipulation.
Furthermore, Seligman claimed that the current version of the ECA provides too much room for powerful people to manipulate election results, which needs to be changed.
Reforming the Electoral Count Act is necessary to prevent it from being manipulated to subvert, rather than support, the peaceful transfer of power. Let’s get this done by the end of the year.https://t.co/Tpt7Fy9IFv
— Rep. John Sarbanes (@RepSarbanes) December 12, 2022
Powers of Vice Presidents to be Reduced Significantly
Different people who testified in front of the January 6 committee believed Trump wanted Congress to approve the votes of fake electors, instead of the actual electoral votes cast in different states.
Trump wanted his lawyers, Kenneth Chesebro and John Eastman, to play a role in approving these fake electors; though he did not succeed in that.
Reportedly, Eastman acknowledged in front of other lawyers that he was doing illegal things under Trump’s watch. Likewise, Eastman knew the Supreme Court would dismiss his election fraud claims.
Michael Luttig, Eastman’s one-time boss, even claimed Eastman was pursuing a reckless and dangerous path to overturn election results.
Under the revised ECA, the vice president will only be a ceremonial person when lawmakers gather to certify presidential elections.
Senators introduced this reform, keeping in view that Trump tried to overturn election results using Vice President Mike Pence on January 6, 2021, when congressional riots took place.
Apart from that, ECA reforms will also reduce the possibility of submitting fake electors to Congress. Now, only the state governors will be able to send electors, which means the role of different state officials in sending electors to Congress will be reduced significantly.
However, governors can still be able to hinder the vote-counting process by sending electors who do not represent the actual votes in the state.This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.