Sens. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) unveiled changes to an 1887 election law, Yahoo News reported.
The vice president’s role overseeing the formal counting of the Electoral College vote will definitely be ceremonial if this is approved.
This follows the former President trying to convince Mike Pence, his then Vice President, to delay the approval of the electoral votes, given suspicions of a corrupt election.
Their revisions also increase the number of lawmakers in the House and Senate that need to support an objection before both chambers must vote on it.
Currently, it just takes one member from the House and Senate; the legislation would increase it to one-third of both chambers. It also increases the threshold for upholding the objection from a simple majority in both chambers to three-fifths in both chambers.
“As leaders on the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections and members of Senate Democratic leadership, we have been working with legal experts and election law scholars to develop legislation that would modernize the framework of the Electoral Count Act of 1887,” the three senators said in a joint statement.
The legislation isn’t finalized, and the senators labeled it a “discussion draft.” But they added that they thought the proposal “serves as a foundational outline for key reforms that address the shortcomings of the 1887 law.”
It takes away another protection in the event of a corrupt election.
The Democratic proposal would also narrow the reasons Congress can object to a state’s electoral votes during the formal counting. And it would try to strengthen against the possibility of “fake electors,” something that has flared up in the aftermath of the 2020 election, and set a deadline of Dec. 20 for states to resolve post-election disputes and make a final determination of the appointment of electors.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are working on their own proposal.
To sum up the proposed bill would do the following:
- Clarify that the vice president has no power to reject a state’s electors.
- Narrow the grounds for objections to electors or electoral votes.
- Raise the thresholds for Congress to consider objections and make it harder to sustain objections.
- Ensure that state legislatures cannot appoint electors after Election Day in an effort to overturn their state’s election results.
- Provide limited judicial review to ensure that the electors appointed by a state reflect the popular vote results in the state.
- Give states additional time (until Dec. 20) to complete legitimate recounts and litigation.