A bipartisan group of lawmakers is proposing to protect future elections.
The effort comes after the numerous revelations of a fake elector scheme leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and as election deniers in many races aim to win positions of power.
In the Senate, the effort is being led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. It has won a key endorsement from Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader.
Michael Kang, a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, says the most important change made in the Electoral Count Act is clarifying the power that the vice president actually has during an election.
“Clarifying what the vice president’s authority is, clarifying the objections in each House actually go a pretty long way,” Kang said.
That the reform also clarifies what would happen if states have multiple slates of electors claiming a candidate won is another needed aspect.
Kang points out that the changes being made only address issues at the federal level, but at the state level, there is still a lot of room for discretion in different elements of the election process like raising objections of claiming voter fraud.
“There’s a lot of worry among academics, advocates, people who work in election administration that 2020 was a kind of dress rehearsal, and now we see what were the key decision in 2020 and those might be the vulnerable points where if you get the right person to claim election fraud or object or not certify an election somewhere in the process it cold create a big problem in 2024,” he said.