Columnist reveals a new bill to close the loopholes Trump tried to use to steal the presidency

Columnist reveals a new bill to close the loopholes Trump tried to use to steal the presidency
Donald Trump and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at a February 2020 rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, Gage Skidmore

Numerous voting rights activists have been warning that unless Democrats find a way to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, former President Donald Trump and his allies will suppress the vote ahead of the 2024 presidential election. But liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent, this week in his column, stresses that whatever happens with Democratic voting rights bills, Democrats will have another tool they can use to protect presidential election results: an update of the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

“If Republicans succeed in blocking Democratic efforts to protect voting rights this week, as expected, the push to defend democracy will be anything but dead,” Sargent writes. “That’s because another important proposal to prevent a stolen 2024 election is coming together in the Senate.”

The Post columnist adds, “This one may — may — prove harder for Republicans to oppose. At least it should prove harder. It would help prevent a rerun of Donald Trump’s 2020 effort — and the violence that followed — with minimal reforms that Republicans can’t manufacture objections to as easily. Senators are close to completing a bill to revise the Electoral Count Act of 1887, I’m told. The measure would fix ambiguities in the ECA that Trump directly exploited with his wide-ranging 2020 plot.”

Sargent discussed the measure with the U.S. senator he describes as ‘spearheading” it: Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent.

READ: Watch: Rachel Maddow reveals Trump's lawyers have quietly met with Georgia prosecutors amid ongoing election investigation

King told Sargent, “It’s very important to emphasize that this is not a solution to the voting rights issues being raised across the country.” The centrist senator said of efforts to overrule democratic election results, “This is a clear and present threat to democracy.”

Sargent, in his column, explains how King and his allies in the U.S. Senate hope to update the Electoral Count Act.

“The drafters of the bill want to make it harder for members of Congress to invalidate — based on false claims of election fraud — a legitimate slate of electors from a state,” Sargent notes. “But they want to accomplish this without making it harder for Congress to invalidate a phony slate appointed by a rogue legislature and/or governor. Here’s the solution they hit upon, according to King’s office.”

Sargent continues, “Under the current ECA, it takes only a single member from each chamber to object to a slate of electors. After this, a majority in each chamber must sustain the objection to ensure those electors don’t get counted. So, the new bill would require a much larger bloc of members in each chamber to initiate an objection; drafters may set this at one-third. It would also require a supermajority in each chamber to sustain the objection; drafters may set this at three-fifths.”

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