WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 22nd September, 2022) The US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to reform Federal presidential election laws, making the process of challenging election outcomes more difficult.
House lawmakers passed the Electoral Count Reform Act of 2022, which reforms the 1887 Electoral Count Act to clarify certification procedures and implement more stringent requirements to challenge election outcomes, in a vote of 229-203. Nine Republicans, including co-sponsor Liz Cheney, joined all Democrats in supporting the bill.
The legislation, which has a Senate counterpart under consideration, would clarify the process of submitting state electors to Congress, provide for expedited review of claims brought by aggrieved presidential candidates in order to resolve challenges more quickly and affirm that the Vice President’s role in presiding over Congress’ confirmation of election results is solely ministerial.
In addition, the measure would increase the threshold needed by lawmakers to object to electors from one member of both the House and Senate to at least one-fifth of members in both chambers in an attempt to prevent frivolous objections.
The legislation would also strike a provision of an 1845 law that allowed state legislatures to override the popular vote of their state by declaring a failed election. The bill would instead allow states to move the presidential election day if necessitated by extraordinary and catastrophic events.
Republican leadership whipped against the bill, arguing that it creates easily abused mechanisms to drag out elections, unconstitutionally takes away election authorities from states and was rushed through Congress without standard review processes.
The bill was introduced following the January 6 events at the US Capitol, during which demonstrators entered the Capitol building in an attempt to protest the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results from several US states in favor of Joe Biden. The certification process was interrupted for several hours.
A special House panel investigating the incident has claimed during public hearings that former US President Donald Trump may have been at the center of a conspiracy to undermine the election results, including by urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to object to the certification as the official. overseeing the process. Trump has maintained that the election victory was stolen from him due to vote and election fraud.
The Biden administration supports the passage of the legislation and shares Congress’ interest in safeguarding the electoral process, the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Biden administration looks forward to working with Congress to ensure lasting reform as the bill proceeds through the legislative process, the statement added.