WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, released the statement below after the Senate passed the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887, as part of the omnibus government funding package. The bill reflects Klobuchar’s bipartisan manager’s amendment with Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO), adopted by a 14-1 vote at a Rules Committee markup in September, that made key improvements to the legislation drafted by the bipartisan working group led by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).
“January 6th was one of the darkest days in the history of our country and I knew we had to act to help protect our democracy against future assault. Updating the antiquated Electoral Count Act will ensure that electoral votes for president accurately reflect the will of the people in each state and improve the process for counting electoral votes in Congress. I worked to get this legislation included in the omnibus because we must prevent the electoral count process from being used as a trigger point for an insurrection again,” said Klobuchar. “Now that the bipartisan Electoral Count Reform Act is becoming law, we are one step closer to protecting our country from the chaos we saw on January 6th.”
The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act would:
- Clarify that the Vice President does not have the power to accept or reject lawfully cast electoral votes;
- Raise the threshold to challenge electoral votes during the joint session of Congress;
- Prevent state legislatures from appointing electoral slates against the will of voters after the election concludes; and
- Ensure that the electoral votes Congress receives accurately reflect each state’s electoral results, including giving candidates the right to go to court and prevent rogue governors from sending invalid electors.
In August, Klobuchar and Blunt held a Rules Committee hearing to examine the need to update the Electoral Count Act. At the hearing, the Committee heard testimony from Senators Manchin Collins, the leaders of the bipartisan group that drafted the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, as well as a bipartisan panel of legal scholars.