Washington, D.C. — Today, a bipartisan group of senators announced a deal to support two measures that would help prevent future efforts to undermine presidential elections. The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act would prohibit state legislatures from overruling their own voters, increase the threshold for members of Congress to object to states’ electoral votes, and clarify the vice president’s ministerial role in the counting of electoral votes. The Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act would take a number of additional steps, including increasing penalties for certain crimes related to interfering with the conduct of elections. In response, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
These election reforms are a much-needed response to a sustained attack on the integrity of U.S. democracy. MAGA extremists have shown they are willing to subvert elections to gain power. The basic idea that the person with the most votes should win an election has been replaced by a conspiracy-minded refusal to accept defeat.
The legislation introduced today would address one critical symptom of this problem: It would help prevent efforts to undermine presidential elections like the one that culminated in the January 6 attack. It would create a process to ensure that states correctly certify their electoral votes, put reasonable limits on the ability of members of Congress to object, and make crystal clear that the vice president does not have the authority to interfere with presidential elections. These steps would represent a significant victory for democracy, and the Senate should move quickly to consider these measures to fend off those who would try to manipulate future presidential elections.
While this is a major step forward, it should not have taken an assault on our seat of government for the United States to fortify its democratic institutions. It’s time for policy changes that make sure that elections are fair and secure and that the results reflect the true will of the people. That means preventing rogue officials from tampering with voting machines, refusing to certify election results, and taking other steps to defy the will of the voters. It also means taking broader steps to protect the voting process and restore our collective faith in democracy.
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