Wyoming Republican Party Rep. Liz Cheney has introduced her own version of legislation to reform the Voter Count Act that she says would prevent future attempts by former President Trump or others to try to “steal” a presidential election.
The legislation, which follows a separate effort in the Senate, comes after experts identified ambiguities in 1887, which establishes procedures for certifying and counting electoral votes for president.
Trump leaned into vague language in his repeated demands that former Vice President Mike Pence refuse to accept votes counted and certified by states.
The recall effort brought forward in Trump’s second impeachment trial, as well as investigations by the House Jan. 6 Committee. There is a Justice Department investigation into the ‘false’ voters scheme.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has introduced legislation to reform the Voter Count Act of 1887, which governs how Congress proceeds with the Electoral College vote in presidential elections.
“Our proposal seeks to preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that interested politicians cannot rob the people of the assurance that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” Cheney and Rep. Zoe. Lofgren (D-Calif.), who served with her on the Jan. 6 panel and was a House impeachment manager.
Lawmakers point to former President Trump’s “intentionally false accusations of voter fraud” as well as national, state and local primary victories by candidates who “also embrace such lies and other unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.”
“This raises the possibility of another attempt to steal a presidential election, perhaps with another attempt to corrupt congressional procedure for counting electoral votes,” they write.
Legislation appears to be on a fast track. The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday, with a House vote scheduled for Wednesday.
The bill reaffirms that the vice president “has no authority or discretion to reject official state election lists, delay the count in any material way, or issue procedural decisions to have such an effect,” the two lawmakers write in a Wall Street Journal. opinion article.
The bill targets the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, which states: ‘The President of the Senate [the vice president] must, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, open all the certificates and then the votes will be counted. The person who obtains the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number is a majority of the total number of Electors appointed.’
The bill is on a fast track, with a House vote expected this week.
Ceremonial: The bill clarifies the ‘ceremonial’ role of the Vice President, who presides over the Senate and a joint session for the counting of electoral votes
Cheney cites ‘the prospect of another effort to steal a presidential election’
The bill states that ‘On January 6, 2021, a mob professing 25 support for then-President Trump violently attacked the United States Capitol in an effort to prevent a Joint Session of Congress from certifying the electoral college votes that appointed Joseph R. Biden as the 46th President of the United States’
Former President Trump tried to nullify the election and “knew that such a scheme would violate both the US Constitution and the Voter Count Act of 1887,” write Cheney and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
The bill also says that a candidate must have a “good faith basis for assertions of fact or law.” Cheney writes that Trump continues to make “intentionally false accusations of voter fraud.” His allies, including Rudy Giuliani and attorney Disney Powell, made numerous election claims that were dismissed by the courts.
The bill takes aim at the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill and states that it is intended to “prevent other future illegal efforts to nullify presidential elections and ensure future peaceful transfers of presidential power.”
The bill details the ‘limited extension of time’ to submit voters, amid an effort by Trump allies to have Pence send voters back to states beyond the legal deadline of January 6 to provide more time for challenges, despite dozens of previous court losses. .
The Role of the 12th Amendment for the Vice President
‘The President of the Senate [the vice president] must, in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives, open all the certificates and then the votes will be counted. The person who obtains the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number is a majority of the total number of Electors appointed.’
– 12th Amendment to the Constitution
The exceptions would be for a “catastrophic event” in the state that has “prevented a substantial portion of the state’s electorate from casting a vote that day, or caused the destruction of a substantial portion of ballots already cast.”
The affected numbers must be “sufficient in number to potentially affect that candidate’s ability to win the election with respect to one or more presidential electors.”
It also incorporates some financial incentives, following a series of efforts to try to stall or invalidate votes in states that opted for Joe Biden.
“If a court finds that someone who filed a motion to delay the proceedings did not have a ‘good faith basis for the legal or factual arguments asserted in the action,’ they could face triple attorneys’ fees from both parties.” on the action”. according to the bill.
It would also require states to hold elections under current rules before Election Day.
A Senate committee will vote on September 27 on its version of the bill.
Cheney lost her primary this summer and was stripped of her position as chair of the GOP Conference after leading the effort to impeach Trump after the riots on Capitol Hill.