House Passes Bill Changing Rules For Confirming Electoral Vote Count

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The House of Representatives passed legislation proposed by Democratic California Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney that would increase the number of lawmakers needed to object to a state’s electoral vote count.

The Presidential Election Reform Act would require that at least one-third of both the House of Representatives and the Senate sign onto an objection to a state’s electoral slate. The bill also limits the ability of members to object to a state’s electoral slate. The Senate is considering similar legislation, although it is unlikely to take that bill up before the November midterms. (RELATED: Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Liz Cheney Unveil Bill Amending Electoral Vote Counting Process)

Two hundred-twenty Democrats and nine Republicans voted in favor of the bill, while all 203 “no” votes came from the GOP. None of the nine Republicans who voted in favor of the Presidential Election Reform Act will serve in the 118th Congress. Eight of the Republicans voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The ninth, New York Rep. Chris Jacobs, announced his retirement after supporting gun control legislation.

House Republican leadership whipped against the legislation.

The bill prevents members from objecting to a state’s electoral slate unless they can point to one of five factors named in the legislation that would cause the slate to be illegitimate. The bill does not include voter fraud as an acceptable reason for objecting to a slate.

Members of Congress have objected to electoral vote certification in four of the six presidential elections held since 2000. However, none of those objections would have been considered under the one-third total named in Cheney and Lofgren’s bill. Congress has not successfully sustained an objection to an electoral slate since it passed the Electoral Count Act in 1887.

“This bill will ensure that in the future, the United States Congress is very clear that we have a very limited number of objections that can be made, if any can be made at all. And those are strictly limited to those outlined in the Constitution. This bill is a very important and crucial bill to ensure that what happened on January 6th never happens again,” Cheney said in a floor speech.