Bipartisan Group Of Senators Reach Deal To Change Federal Election Laws

A bipartisan group of Senators announced they reached a deal to reform America’s election laws, following former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The bill has the backing of nine Republicans and seven Democrats.

Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin introduced a pair of bills that would update the Electoral Count Act, which was passed in 1887, and provide enhanced protection for election workers.

The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act clarifies that the vice president’s role in counting the Electoral College votes is ceremonial and makes it more difficult for members of Congress to object to the certification. To help prevent a fake slate of electors from being submitted, the bill tasks the governors of each state to submit the results of the election. The legislation allows states to specify somebody other than the governor to submit the election results to the federal government.

The Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act increases the federal penalties for people “who threaten or intimidate election officials, poll watchers, voters, or candidates.” In addition, it reauthorizes the Election Assistance Commission for five years and orders the Postal Service to provide guidance for states on the best practices for handling mail-in ballots.

“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,” the Senators said in a joint statement. “We urge our colleagues in both parties to support these simple, commonsense reforms.”

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