New polling shows that a majority of American voters support an update to the law governing how Congress certifies presidential elections.
These changes are supported by Americans by a margin of two to one. according to a Politico/Morning Consult survey conducted from September 23-25. Asking if they’d support or oppose the passage of a bill in Congress to make it harder for that legislative body “to override presidential election results in the future,” 52 percent of respondents said they’d back such an action, with only 26 percent saying they’d oppose it.
It was interesting to note that the question was equally split among those who voted in support of former President Donald Trump. Trump and his allies in Congress tried to exploit the ambiguities in the current law to stop certification that took place on January 6, 2021. But according to the poll, 38 percent of those who say they voted for him also believe the law needs to be updated, to make sure actions like his don’t ever happen again (37 percent opposed the idea).
The polling results were released as Congressmen try to decide which route, if any, to take. Update the Electoral Count Acta 18th-century law that governs how the Electoral College votes in Congress are certified. Last week, the House passed an amendment to that law. The proposal was sponsored last week by Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Liz Cheney (R.Wyoming), who were prominent members of the January 6-committee.
Their bill, The Presidential Election Reform Act, was introduced. A number of changes are suggestedCurrent law includes:
- Strictly defining as ceremonial the vice president’s role in counting Electoral College votes from each state;
- Requiring a threshold of one-third of lawmakers from each house of Congress to raise a formal challenge to electors’ votes — up from just one lawmaker in the House and one in the Senate;
- A clear statement that it is illegal to produce fake voters to replace or confuse legitimate voters.
The bill was passed, but it was not clear if the bill could be passed in Senate due to filibuster rules. It would have to receive at least 10 GOP vote. However, Mitch McConnell (Republican from Kentucky) stated earlier this week that a version of the bill would be passed.
“The chaos that came to a head on January 6th of last year certainly underscored the need for an update,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. “The Electoral Count Act ultimately produced the right conclusion … but it’s clear the country needs a more predictable path.”
A bipartisan group is pushing their own version to the Electoral Count Act. The most notable difference in their bill is that the threshold for challenging electors’ votes is smaller than the House bill — it would require one-fifth, not one-third, of members from both houses of Congress to begin the formal challenge process, A level that was reached in the House during January 6, 2021 certification due to Trump-aligned Republicans opposing President Joe Biden’s win.
More respondents are in favor of changing this process. They want the threshold to be higher than the other. Twenty-two percent of voters in total support the change. according to the Politico/Morning Consult poll17 percent believe the threshold should be one third of the lawmakers in each house. Thirty-six percent of voters didn’t know or had no opinion, while 25 percent of respondents — likely those who oppose the idea of updating the law altogether — say the threshold should remain as it is, with only one lawmaker from each house needed to raise a challenge.