From today’s NPR News:
After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday announced two proposals related to election administration, including one to reform the Electoral Count Act, a widely criticized 1887 law that governs the process of casting and counting Electoral College votes and that came under fresh scrutiny following attempts to invalidate the presidential election results on Jan. 6, 2021.
The plans were announced a day ahead of the House select committee’s final scheduled prime time hearing on its investigation into the Capitol insurrection.
“From the beginning, our bipartisan group has shared a vision of drafting legislation to fix the flaws of the archaic and ambiguous Electoral Count Act of 1887,” the U.S. senators said in a joint statement.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, led the effort to reform the law, which would need 60 votes to break a filibuster and pass the Senate. The proposal unveiled Wednesday to reform the Electoral Count Act has 16 co-sponsors, including nine Republicans. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has signaled he’s open to updating the old law.
The law itself was created after a chaotic election in 1876 that saw Democrat Samuel Tilden win the popular vote but lose the presidency because of contested election results, as three Southern states sent in competing returns. A decade later, Congress enacted the Electoral Count Act to avoid a repeated fiasco by establishing a clearer process for Electoral College certification.
But as NPR’s Miles Parks has reported, some legal experts argue the crafters of the law did a “terrible job.”
Members of both major parties opened the door to updating the ECA nearly a year after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which came following then-President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign against his own vice president to abandon his ceremonial role in tallying the results and help overturn the election.
Read the complete story here.