National Task Force on Election Crises statement of support welcoming the Electoral Count Reform Act

The National Task Force on Election Crises welcomes the announcement of bipartisan legislation to update the Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA).

The gaps and ambiguities in the ECA contributed to uncertainty and turmoil during the 2020 election, and threaten our continued ability to peacefully elect and inaugurate a president and vice president every four years.

After the 2020 election, the Task Force identified ECA reform as a top priority for reducing the risk of crises during future presidential elections. The bipartisan working group proposal includes many of the Task Force’s recommendations to update the ECA, including:

  • clearly setting the timing for states to choose their electors and defining narrow circumstances under which electors may be appointed after Election Day;
  • clarifying the ministerial role of the vice president in the presidential election process;
  • better ensuring that lawful state determinations of election results are binding on Congress;
  • raising the threshold for members of Congress to object to state election results;
  • and improving dispute resolution.

These updates convey no advantage or disadvantage to any political party or faction. Of course, an updated ECA will not prevent all forms of election crises, nor will it make broader improvements to elections and voting rights in the United States. But Congress has an opportunity to reduce the risk of preventable and predictable presidential election crises by updating the ECA.

The Task Force urges Congress to seize this opportunity, and pass a bill updating the ECA along the lines of the Task Force’s recommendations.

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