Statement of Sylvia Albert, Common Cause Director of Voting & Elections
The inclusion of the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act in the omnibus spending package is a vital first step in protecting the votes and voices of all Americans. Enacting these reforms to ensure that the will of the voters will be respected and followed is particularly important in light of Donald Trump’s announcement that he is again running for the White House and his public call to terminate the U.S. Constitution in order to overturn the 2020 election and declare himself president. We know from the January 6th Select Committee that Trump knows he lost that election, but he continues to repeat his Big Lie despite the fact that his own appointees at the Department of Homeland Security declared that the 2020 election was “the most secure in U.S. history.”
Americans deserve to know their votes will be counted and their voices heard in our elections. Reform of the antiquated Electoral Count Act is an important step to safeguard the results of free and fair elections.
President Trump and his associates came dangerously close to engineering an overthrow of the 2020 election, as the January 6th Select Committee’s hearings have made clear. Part of that conspiracy involved bogus assertions about how Congress should discharge its certification duties of the presidential election, inciting a violent mob, and convincing 147 Congressional Republicans to vote to overturn the election. It included exploiting arcane provisions of the law that the Electoral Count Reform Act clarifies and modernizes.
We thank Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and many others who led this effort.
While it is vitally important that the Electoral Count Act has been updated, it is no substitute for comprehensive freedom to vote and anti-corruption legislation that our nation so desperately needs. Earlier this year, the Senate came within two votes of passing the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. As states are about to begin new legislative sessions and many continue to try to pass bills making it harder to vote, we now must redouble our efforts to pass national voting standards and voter protections.