One National Republican Wants (Narrow) Action to Tighten up Electoral Count ActBreaking News
tags: democracy, Electoral College, Electoral Count Act
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Is there any way for election reforms to pass the Senate? A Democratic-led voting bill failed last week, blocked by two Democrats and unanimous Republican opposition, but some Republicans maintain they might support narrower changes. They reject federal standards for how Americans vote, but say they might accept reforms to what happens after a vote.
Zach Wamp, a former Republican congressman from Tennessee, supports the change from his perch in a group called Issue One. He wants to address a delusion that motivated the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
ZACH WAMP: Many people were led to believe in 2020 that the Congress and the vice president could overturn the results.
INSKEEP: Legally, Congress could not. But Wamp would like to strengthen the law to make that more clear.
WAMP: The only time under the Constitution that the Congress is supposed to be able to object is if, under the Electoral Count Act of 1887, if the votes by the Electoral College were not regularly given. Now, that's archaic language in that bill.
INSKEEP: The old law grew out of a disputed election after the Civil War. Zach Wamp would like to update it to withstand a new era of bogus objections to election results.
WAMP: This is a historical tradition that we accept the results of the election, and the loser actually accepts the results as well. But we're now in a rancid political environment where either party is totally capable of not accepting the results and potentially creating such controversy, unless you clarify the law as to what the role is, where the Congress could try to overturn the election.
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