news legislation reform of electoral count act passes house
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Electoral Count Act passes House: What chance does it have in the Senate?

donald trump
Donald Trump. (© Joseph Sohm – Shutterstock)

The Presidential Election Reform Act is headed to a Senate vote.

The legislation passed the House on September 21 with a vote of 210-209.

PERA would reform the Electoral Count Act by preventing fraudulent or deliberate election interference, clarify the vice president’s role in counting votes as ministerial, and require states to appoint certified electors before Election Day.

Virginia Congressman A. Donald McEachin voted to pass H.R. 8873.

“The disturbing inaccuracies and foul play that led to the events on January 6 have demonstrated an urgent need to restore integrity to our electoral system,” McEachin said in a press release. “As we saw in the 2020 election, extremist political beliefs drove individuals, who otherwise should not have control over counting votes, to attempt to sabotage the election. We must have added safeguards to prevent future coup attempts and protect all future elections. The bipartisan Presidential Election Integrity Act will help ensure the integrity of our elections, protect the wishes of the American people, and prevent self-interested politicians from trying to manipulate election results.”

The legislation, according to a press release would preserve the integrity of electoral votes by enacting new counting rules; ensuring that Congress receives a single, accurate certificate from each state; requiring states to select electors pursuant to state laws as they exist prior to election day; ensuring that presidential elections are only extended for genuine catastrophic events; and prohibiting election officials from refusing to certify presidential election.

“While there is still more work to be done until we achieve true voting equality for all citizens in our country, including curtailing voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering, this is a step in the right direction,” McEachin said. “I hope to see our colleagues on the Senate side join us in passing this commonsense legislation.”

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia also voted for the PERA.

“As the Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol has shown the American people, former President Donald Trump was fully informed that his claims of election fraud were false and that his efforts to overturn the election were illegal and unconstitutional,” Luria said in a press release. “Yet, he continued to push dangerous lies, conspiracies and bogus legal schemes to the American people to overturn the election and incite the violence that led to January 6. The bipartisan Presidential Election Reform Act is the first step to ensuring that future efforts to steal a presidential election from the people will not succeed.”

The reforms to the Electoral Count Act do not benefit either political party.

“As a 20-year Navy veteran, I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Luria said. “My vote today to protect, preserve and defend our democracy is a continuation of that solemn oath. I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to strengthen our election system and prevent another deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.