9 Republicans Vote with Democrats to Change Electoral Vote Counting Process for Presidential Elections

The bill would make it harder to challenge election results.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The United States House of Representatives Democrat majority passed an overhaul to the presidential election certification process by a margin of 229-203.
  • The Electoral Count Act sets deadlines to certify presidential election contests before sending the electors to Washington.
  • The newly minted bill also names the vice president as the official overseer of the delegate vote count and defines a more difficult process to allow lawmakers to challenge results.
  • Joining Democrats in their vote were outgoing Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Peter Meijer of Michigan.
  • Additional Republicans voting with Democrats were Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Chris Jacobs of New York, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, John Katko of New York, Tom Rice of South Carolina, and Fred Upton of Michigan.
  • The House’s version isn’t expected to pass in the Senate, however, and the Senate’s version of the act will be going through the markup process next week.
LAWMAKERS’ COMMENTS:
  • “To all those who oppose this legislation, I ask you, how could anyone vote against free and fair elections — the cornerstone of our constitution?” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday on the House floor. “How could anyone vote against our founder’s vision: placing power in the hands of the people? How could anyone vote against their own constituents, allowing radical politicians to rip away their say in our democracy?” she said.
  • Republican Study Committee Chair Jim Banks (R-Ind.) weighed in saying he’s been “open” to clarifying the laws surrounding the election certification process, but Cheney’s involvement makes him take this law a “lot less seriously.” Banks went on to say of the bill, “I take it for what it is, a political weapon to beat up on Donald Trump and not about preventing a Jan. 6 from ever happening again.”
  • Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon (R) said, “[With] the Senate version you’ve got Republicans and Democrats working together. I know Liz is a Republican, but the fact is they just foist it on us … It’s typical Pelosi: Shove it down your throat.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The current election certification process is spelled out in the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which became a national issue following the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
  • The Jan. 6 committee members proposed the reforms to the 1887 Electoral Count Act, including hampering lawmakers’ ability to raise objections to electors from each state.
  • Proposals from the Jan. 6 Committee also included preventing state legislators from undoing election results in their state.