Washington — Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) voted to pass the Presidential Election Reform Act, a significant bipartisan bill that would reform the Electoral Count Act in the wake of the attack on the Capitol on January 6th and other illegal attempts by the former president and his allies seeking to overturn the 2020 election. The bill passed the House by a vote of 229-203. The bill now heads to the United States Senate.
“The former president and his allies sought to overturn the will of the people and subvert the peaceful transfer of power that is fundamental to our democracy,” said Thompson. “These same bad actors conducted a coordinated effort in an attempt to exploit ambiguities in the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to refuse the count of electoral votes and deliver an alternate and false slate of electors. The Presidential Election Reform Act will make take vital steps to reform the Electoral Count Act and ensure that the will of the people cannot be overturned.”
The bipartisan Presidential Election Reform Act takes a number of specific steps to safeguard our democracy.
First, this bill would clarify the role of the Vice President in the Joint Session of Congress solely as ceremonial, reaffirming that the Vice President does not have the right to reject or alter official state electoral slates.
Second, members of Congress can only object to a state’s electoral count under Constitutionally protected reasons, and the objection threshold is raised to 1/3 of each Chamber.
Third, this bill would require governors of each state to transmit to Congress the lawful election results. If the governors fail to carry out these duties, candidates may bring suit in federal court to ensure Congress receives the lawful slate of electors.
Fourth, federal law will make clear that rules governing elections cannot change after the election has occurred, preventing those who are upset with a lawful outcome from retroactively altering the outcome.