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Voter Count Act: Bipartisan group of senators cuts deal in response to January 6



CNN

A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal to make it harder to overturn a certified presidential election, marking the most significant congressional response to former President Donald. Trump relentless pressure campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The proposal still needs to be passed by both houses and will need 60 votes in the Senate to break any attempt at filming, which means at least 10 Republicans are needed to support any legislation. The announcement of the opening plan for what is expected to be a challenging, months-long process for the deal to be approved before the end of the year.

The deal is the culmination of months of negotiations led by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, along with six Democrats and eight Republicans. The proposal announced Wednesday is split into two bills.

One of the bills focused on modernization and overhaul The Number of Voters Act, an 1887 law that Trump sought to exploit and create confusion about how Congress counts the Electoral College votes from each state. As part of that proposal, the senators are trying to make it clear that the vice president has only a ceremonial role in overseeing the certification of election results.

The proposal also includes key provisions to promote an orderly presidential transition by outlining guidelines for when eligible candidates can receive federal resources to transition into office.

If both candidates fail to give in within five days of Election Day, both candidates will be able to receive access to federal transition resources until it is “essentially certain.” who will win the majority of electoral votes,” according to a fact sheet. Ultimately, only one candidate will qualify when there is a “clear winner in the election.”

Amid revelations of efforts by Trump allies to root out illegal voters in key states, the bill attempts to prevent a similar situation from happening again in the future.

It would also make it harder for members of Congress to try to overturn an election by increasing the number of House and Senate members required to protest an election result when a joint session of Congress meets to vote. certify them. Under current law, only one senator can join a member of the House of Representatives in forcing each party to vote on whether or not the outcome is objectionable.

The bill was co-sponsored by nine Republicans and seven Democrats, who announced the agreement.

According to the fact sheet, the proposal to address the vice-president’s role would make clear that the responsibility “is solely to the minister, and that person does not have any authority to simply identify, accept, reject or settlement of electoral disputes”.

The second measure aims to improve election security and would strengthen federal penalties for anyone threatening or intimidate election officials, as well as increase penalties for forgery of election records. . The bill was co-sponsored by five Republicans and seven Democrats.

While constitutional experts say the vice president state-certified election results cannot now be ignored, Trump pushed then-Vice President Mike Pence to obstruct Electoral College certification in Congress as part of his pressure campaign. But Pence refused to do so and as a result became the target of the former President and crowds of his supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said the bill would make the election harder to overturn when a joint session of Congress convenes to certify a presidential election.

“Anything we can do and show the American public that we recognize how serious that day is and we will do all we can to prevent a repeat of the 6th. January, is a step in the right direction,” he said.

“Any future vice president cannot, shouldn’t, be able to overturn the legitimate votes of Americans and their electors that the states cast,” Warner said.

The bill seeks to overhaul the Voter Count Act that would include a number of changes to ensure that Congress could unambiguously “determine a single, consequential set of electors from each state,” a information sheet stated.

This comes as revelations about efforts by Trump allies to subvert the Electoral College process and install fake GOP electors in seven swing states.

The newly announced agreement creates a series of regulations designed to make it difficult for any confusion about the exact number of voters. For example, it states that the governor of each state will be responsible for submitting a certificate identifying the electors. Congress will not be able to accept a group of electors submitted by any other official. “This reform will address the possibility of many public officials sending competitive vehicles to Congress,” the fact sheet said.

The bill would also place a higher limit on how members of Congress can object to the certification of electoral votes.

The fact sheet says the proposal “raises the threshold of objection for electors to at least one-fifth of the duly elected and sworn members of both the House and Senate.”

The election security bill also includes several other key provisions.

Such a proposal would reauthorize an independent body known as the Electoral Support Committee for a period of five years and require the commission to implement cybersecurity testing for voting systems.

The measure also includes measures to help states improve their handling of mailed ballots.

The Senate Rules Committee announced Wednesday after announcing the agreement that the panel plans to hold a hearing on the Voter Count Act and its efforts to amend election law to deal with 6 attack. This announcement is an indication that the new proposal is not on track to go immediately to the Senate for consideration and will instead take time to complete the legislative process. as senators work to try to pass legislation before the end of the year.

Some senators believe the issue could slip into a session of Congress between the November and January elections.

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