GOP Sen. McConnell says “it is worth . . . discussing” changes to the Electoral Count Act

It appears that some congressional Republicans may be willing to team up with their Democrat counterparts on one voting law reform.

Politico reports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as suggesting that he would be open to discussing making changes to the Electoral Count Act. 

“It obviously has some flaws,” McConnel told Capitol reporters on Wednesday. “And it is worth, I think, discussing.”

Background

The Electoral Count Act goes back to 1887. So, we are talking about making changes to a voting law that has been in effect for well over one hundred years now.

Talk has picked up about making changes to this law following what happened last January when protests broke out at the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election.

On that day, eight Senate Republicans and 139 House Republicans decided to object to Biden’s victory in a number of states. The left argues that these lawmakers contributed to what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

Why are changes needed?

The Washington Examiner quotes the Cato Institute as one right-leaning group that would be on board with making changes to the Electoral Count Act.

The Examiner reports that Cato Institute as “calling the law a mess of ambiguities and contradictions that exceeds the constitutional powers of the House and Senate and ‘opens the door for Congress to effectively decide the results of an election, something the Framers specifically rejected at the Constitutional Convention.'”

One example would be the role of the vice president during the certification process, which, perhaps, isn’t as defined as it should be. The reader may remember that former President Donald Trump argued that then-Vice President Mike Pence should have stopped the votes, in contested states, from being certified, but that Pence decided not to do so, determining it not to be the proper role of the vice president under the Electoral Count Act.

An important distinction

We’ll have to see if congress moves forward with making changes to the Electoral Count Act.

But, one thing that ought to be made clear is that this is not the same as the voting legislation being pushed by the Democrats. That is the legislation that amounts, more or less, to a federal takeover of elections.

Congressional Republicans have been unanimous in denouncing such legislation.

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