GOP Wants Some Election Reform-That of the Electoral Count Act


John Thune signaled support for some election reform — that of the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

According to Axios, a top Republican is signaling his party isn’t necessarily opposed to joining with Democrats to clarify an existing federal law to reduce the potential for election subversion. [That’s aimed at Donald Trump].

While broader federal voting rights legislation remains mired in the Senate as long as the 60-vote filibuster rule applies, Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told Axios there’s “some interest” among Senate Republicans in reforming the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

The goal would be to clarify the role the vice president and Congress play in certifying presidential elections.

The crux of the issue is the bill doesn’t specify if the vice president is merely ceremonial or if the VP actually has the power to refuse to certify certain electors.

  • A false reading might suggest the vice president has the power to decide which slate of electors he or she wants to certify, Axios says.
  • Most experts — including conservative ones — say this is not at all what the Founders intended, Axios concludes.

John Eastman wrote a memo last year notifying VP Pence that he did have that power but Pence consulted with lawyers who said his role is ceremonial.

This is not the takeover of the election bill Democrats are trying to pass. “What the Democrats are trying to do [with voting rights] is have a government take over state regulation administration of elections, which is not something we’re for,” Thune told Axios as he rode in a Senate elevator.


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