Electoral Count Act

  • October 31, 2022

The Electoral Count Act (ECA) governs the process of casting and counting Electoral College votes for president and vice president. The statute sets the timeline for states to appoint presidential electors in November and for electors to cast their votes in December, and describes the process that Congress should follow when it counts the states’ electoral votes in January. As the nation learned in January 2021, the statute is badly in need of an update. It includes antiquated and ambiguous language, and fails to offer clear guidance on key aspects of the process of counting electoral votes and resolving related disputes — weaknesses that render the statute open to misunderstanding or exploitation, and risk the peaceful transitions of power that have been a hallmark of our democracy.

Congress is considering ways to update the Electoral Count Act before the end of the year, including the Electoral Count Reform Act and the Presidential Election Reform Act. On this page, we have information about the ECA, answers to frequently asked questions about reforming it, analysis of proposals before Congress, and important public statements about this issue.

Learn more about the Electoral Count Act

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