Electoral Count Act Could Complicate Trump’s Plans

(FreedomBeacon.com)- A bill to change how Congress counts electoral votes is getting closer to becoming law. The House isn’t the only congressional chamber taking action this week to oppose former president Trump; now it’s the Senate’s turn.

The Senate unveiled a $1.7 trillion omnibus government funding package that includes the Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA) on Jan. 6, 2021, less than a day after a House panel looking into the Jan. 6, 2021 election issued four criminal referrals for the former president, dealing Trump his second setback in as many days.

The Electoral Count Reform Act, an amendment to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, has raised the threshold for contesting an Electoral College vote from one member in each chamber to one-fifth of the members in both chambers. The Senate-negotiated bill represents concrete action against Trump and is expected to be signed into law by the end of the week, in contrast to the House panel’s criminal referral, which may or may not go anywhere because the Department of Justice is not required to take congressional referrals into account.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who assisted in negotiating the proposal, said, hyperbolically, that it “will arguably save our democracy.”

“Our writing is not infallible. It is much more difficult for malicious actors to steal an election, but it is still possible.” Meanwhile, there have been no hearings on voter fraud.

The initiative comes two years after the attempt by Trump and his allies to use the 135-year-old law to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The bill also clarifies that only a state’s governor or other designated official may submit election results and that the vice president’s role in counting and certifying the Electoral College votes is purely ceremonial.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) led discussions on the bill over the summer.

The passage of the Electoral Count Reform Act and the findings of the Jan. 6 select committee are largely coincidental. Due to the incoming House GOP majority, both had deadlines of the end of the year to complete them.

The provision that repeals a nearly 200-year-old law that allowed state legislatures to invalidate the popular vote by declaring a “failed election”—even though the term has never been defined—is perhaps the most significant part of the new law.