WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) authored an op-ed on CNN.com to discuss the legislation he and a bipartisan group of senators introduced to reform and modernize the antiquated Electoral Count Act of 1887. Murphy laid out why it’s critical to get this done before the end of the year.
“Trump and his band of loyalists are responsible for what happened on January 6, but there is no doubt that the Electoral Count Act, as currently written, provides far too many avenues for abuse from those who want to replace American democracy with American monarchy,” said Murphy.
On increasing the threshold for objections to slates of electors, Murphy said: “Our bill raises the threshold – from just one member to one-fifth of the House and Senate – for objections to elector slates, in order to prevent a handful of bad-faith actors from using the objection process to force Congress to debate and vote on spurious objections.
On ensuring states certify results that reflect the will of the voters, Murphy said: “[O]ur bill requires states to certify and transmit the results of their election to Congress according to the laws in place before the election occurred – and prohibits a state from changing the rules of how electors are chosen after the election.”
On the role of the vice president, Murphy said: “The bill eliminates any uncertainty about the vice president’s authority to unilaterally throw out votes – there is none – and makes reforms to reduce the concern that votes will be thrown out in a bad-faith attempt to let the House choose the next president.”
On the process of federal judicial review, Murphy said: “[T]he bill sets up a new, expedited path in the federal courts to settle any contests over electors, before the controversy gets to the Congress.”
Murphy concluded: “While I am confident that the bill we introduced will address many of problems we saw during the 2020 election, I am the first to admit it will not address a critical shortcoming in our federal voting laws, namely a lack of statutory prohibitions against the measures some states are taking to restrict citizens’ right to vote. We should pass this bill, but we should know that it is just the first step in restoring faith in our democracy.”
You can read the full op-ed here.