Tillis Among Group Of Senators That Want To Reform Electoral Count Act

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC. Carolina Journal file.

By Theresa Opeka
Carolina Journal

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is among a bipartisan group of 16 senators that have proposed to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, led the negotiations that introduced two proposals which include legislation to reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that the electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President.

The senators hope the legislation will prevent a recurrence of riots that took place on January 6, 2021, when some supporters of then President Donald Trump called for the decertification of the 2020 presidential election.

“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 senators said in a joint statement. “Through numerous meetings and debates among our colleagues, as well as conversations with a wide variety of election experts and legal scholars, we have developed legislation that establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying and counting electoral votes for President and Vice President. We urge our colleagues in both parties to support these simple, commonsense reforms.”

In addition to Tillis, Collins, and Manchin, the senators involved in the bipartisan negotiations include Rob Portman R-OH, Kyrsten Sinema D-AZ, Mitt Romney R-UT, Jeanne Shaheen D-NH, Lisa Murkowski R-AK, Mark Warner D-VA, Chris Murphy D-CT, Shelley Moore Capito R-WV, Ben Cardin D-MD, Todd Young R-IN, Chris Coons D-DE, Ben Sasse R-NE, and Lindsey Graham R-SC.

In developing the bills, the senators received input from state election officials, as well as from an ideologically diverse group of election experts and legal scholars, including the American Law Institute. Rules Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, and Ranking Member Roy Blunt, R-MO, also provided helpful insight.

“This is a more moderate approach than what Democrats were trying to push unilaterally,” said Dr. Andy Jackson, Director, Civitas Center for Public Integrity, John Locke Foundation. “It amounts to a technical correction of the Electoral Count Act, which is why it enjoys bipartisan support,”

The first bill, Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, has provisions that would reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President.

The Electoral Count Reform Act provision would identify each state’s governor as the one empowered to submit the state’s slate of electors in order to certify election results. It also affirms the role of the vice-president as solely ministerial and “that he or she does not have any power to solely determine, accept, reject, or otherwise adjudicate disputes over electors.”

It also raises the threshold to lodge an objection to electors to at least one-fifth of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Currently, only a single member of both chambers is needed to object to an elector or slate of electors.

In addition, it strikes a provision of an archaic 1845 law that could be used by state legislatures to override the popular vote in their states by declaring a “failed election” – a term that is not defined in the law. Instead, this legislation specifies that a state could move its presidential election day, which otherwise would remain the Tuesday immediately following the first Monday in November every four years, only if necessitated by “extraordinary and catastrophic” events.

The Presidential Transition Improvement Act section would promote the orderly transfer of power by providing clear guidelines for when eligible candidates for President and Vice President may receive federal resources to support their transition into office.

The second bill, Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act, has the following provisions. The Enhanced Penalties to Protect Our Elections Act would double the penalty from no more than one year to no more than two years in prison under federal law for individuals who threaten or intimidate election officials, poll watchers, voters, or candidates.

Postal Service Election Improvement Act would improve the handling of election mail by the U.S. Postal Service and provide guidance to states to improve their mail-in ballot processes.

The Election Assistance Commission Reauthorization section would reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission for 5 years and require the EAC to conduct cyber security testing as part of its testing and certification process for voting systems. The EAC, an independent agency that helps states improve the administration and security of federal elections, was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

The Election Records Protection Act would clarify that current law requires electronic election records be preserved. It would also increase the existing maximum penalties for individuals who willfully steal, destroy, conceal, mutilate, or alter election records from $1,000 to $10,000 and from up to one year in prison to up to two years in prison.  In addition, it would make it illegal to tamper with voting systems.

Senate Rules Committee Chair Klobuchar, D-MN said in a statement that the committee will hold a hearing in the coming weeks on the proposed legislation.

14 COMMENTS

  1. LOL… now that he’s not running for re-election, he pulls this stuff?!? Way to stand on your principles Tillis… when you have nothing to lose. Does anyone take him seriously? The guy has more flip-flops than Spring Break at Myrtle Beach. I, for one, am glad to see him leave.

  2. Someone should inform “Tell The Truth” that he has his senators mixed up. Burr is retiring, not Tillis. But of course, this is a perfect demonstration of the level of “knowledge” of anarchists/insurrectionist terrorists and their Quacken-anon understanding of what “truth” is.

    I bet I’m going to get flamed by the pizza-gate believers and Trump voters for being a shill for the Deep State because I believe correctly that Burr is the senator who is actually retiring.

    Sheer genius laid bare for all the world to see in the above comments..

    • I stand corrected about his retirement (unlike others — and most politicians — I’ll admit when I’ve made a mistake. However, I maintain that is a perpetual flip-flopper:
      – He publicly opposed Trump’s national emergency declaration to divert funding to a border wall (citing the negative impact on military funding), but voted for it anyway, causing a $38Million deficit in military funding to NC bases
      – He stated publicly in 2016 argued that the Senate shouldn’t confirm a Supreme Court nominee during an election year. Yet had no problem voting for Barrett in 2020 (also an election year).
      – etc.

      If he (Tillis) truly does vote for election reform, I will be amazed if he runs for re-election.

  3. He’s a useless RINO and since he’s not running because he knows he will lose then his true colors come out. The voter fraud was open and apparent. You couldn’t miss it with the liberals even posting on social media of them actually doing it. Not to mention creepy j gets 300 thousand votes magically found and trump gets 0. That doesn’t even make sense. Then u have them shutting down the count which has never been done before. Unlike the left we didn’t burn city’s to.the ground but if they try it again then who knows because people have had enough of this crap.

    • It seems that only long serving Republicans that stand for traditional conservatives principals (small government, lower taxes, etc) while still managing to act with human decency and decorum are ever accused of being RINOs. It seems to me that if your political cult leader has only been involved in politics for less than 10 years, then maybe you’re the RINO?

      Now if they could only “fix the flaws of the archaic and ambiguous” 2nd amendment…….

  4. I thought all Trump-ublicans (not to be confused with RINOs) thought fair elections were the whole issue? If that is so, don’t you want election reform via safeguards going forward?

    Signed,

    Confused in Joco

    • I for one do want election reform but not at the federal level as the US Constitution specifically says the state legislature is to administer elections not the feds. It also doesn’t say the the board of election is allowed to change the rules/laws… only the state legislature is allowed to do that. The legislature sold us out when they passed their constitutional duties to the board of elections and allowed them to make changes to the election rules.

  5. Stealing machines? In the middle of a cyber conflict in a chip shortage?

    Humans can be so dumb. Machines make you look like Skynet fodder.

  6. Time to do away with the stupidity of the electorate system. Its anti-democratic. No ones vote should count more than anothers. An accurate popular vote is all that’s needed.

  7. @Tell the truth….. I guess you mean “lose,” as in to no longer possess, as opposed to “loose,” like loose lips. Or maybe a freudian slip, since you are playing very “loose” with the truth?

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