Election Counting Law: House lawmakers introduce bill to avoid another January 6


GOP Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren of California advanced in an opinion piece to make it more difficult to invalidate presidential election certificates in the future by proposing changes to the Election Counting Act.

Cheney and Lofgren are members of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riot, which is charged in part with proposing legislative recommendations that could help prevent a repeat attack on the US Capitol.

Lawmakers also argue that this legislation is critical, pointing out candidates currently running for state and federal office that could influence future elections and believe it is a lie in the election of former President Donald Trump. Cheney and Lofgren said that this “raises concerns of another attempt to steal the presidential election, perhaps with another attempt to corrupt the electoral vote tallying procedure of Congress.”

“This week we will propose reforms to the Election Counting Act to protect the rule of law and prevent future efforts to attack the integrity of presidential elections from succeeding,” Cheney and Lofgren wrote in a commentary published in The Wall Street Journal. Sunday magazine.

The House is preparing to hold a vote on this bill this week. The text of the bill is expected to be released soon, as the House Rules Committee has scheduled an important meeting on the legislation for Tuesday.

In their opinion piece, Cheney and Lofgren outline four areas they hope their legislation can address.

The first would be to reaffirm the Constitution and make it clear that the vice president has “no authority or discretion to reject official state electoral rolls, to materially delay the count, or to issue procedural decisions to that effect.”

After the 2020 election, Trump tried to get former Vice President Mike Pence to turn away voters in the states, which Pence never did.

The proposed legislation would also make it more difficult for lawmakers to raise objections to state election officials, arguing that Congress should not be the “court of last resort.” They have argued that objections must be entertained by a third of each chamber and require a majority vote to be maintained. Currently, objections require only one member of the House and one senator to be raised.

Third, Cheney and Lofgren say governors must legally send election results to Congress. They say that if a governor or other official prevents that from happening, “presidential candidates should sue in federal court to ensure that Congress receives state legal certification.” They say these lawsuits must happen before Congress counts the electoral votes.

And fourth, the legislation would address attempts by state legislatures to change election results after they are certified and before they are sent to Congress, as happened in certain battleground states in 2020.

“The Constitution assigns an important duty to state legislatures to determine the manner in which states appoint electors. But this should not be misread to allow state legislatures to retroactively change election rules to change the outcome,” Lofgren and Cheney wrote.

This bill will have to join legislation proposed by a group of senators, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Republican, and Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, released in July.