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Following months of negotiation, a group of Senators announced two proposals on bipartisan bills constructed to seal gaps in federal law in stopping prospective candidates from stealing elections, according to NBC News last week on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
The measures taken are led by the following: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Joe Manchin ( D-W.Va.). They are called the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act and the Enhanced Security Protection Act. These bipartisan bills are intended to close any loopholes in election law.
In particular, this first bill would certify the role of the vice president. Additionally, it would ” raise the bar for members of Congress to object, and try to prevent fake slates of electors from interfering in the process.” While the second is directed towards safeguarding the election workers.
Collins, Manchin with the rest of the Senate group, noted in a joint statement that in the course of multiple debates and meetings among colleagues and conversations accompanied by a variety of legal scholars and election experts who have developed legislation that forms clear guidelines for the country’s system of counting and certifying electoral votes for both the President and Vice President, they strongly adjure their colleagues to “support these simple, commonsense reforms,” according to NBC News.
Looking more closely into one of the bipartisan bills, the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, which would overtake the 1887 Electoral Count Act by clearly establishing the role of the vice president in “confirming an election result is ‘solely ministerial'” and that they do not have unilateral power to dismiss electors. Also, it would be set to raise the margin for obligating a vote “on objecting to electors–from one House and Senate member to one-fifth of each chamber.”
This bill would amend — make minor changes — to the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 to ensure the candidates of the two parties would have resources to assist the transition under minimal circumstances. An instance of minimal circumstances is when the election’s outcome “is reasonably in doubt,” as the summary states.
While this second bill, the Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act, would increase two times the penalties under federal law for individuals that intimidate or threaten election officials, voters, poll watchers, or candidates, the summary of the two proposals indicate.
With these proposals for bipartisan bills, they will eventually be decided as time progresses.
Written by Ke’Lena Thomas
Edited by Sheena Robertson
NBC News: Senators announce bipartisan bills to stop candidates from stealing elections; by Sahil Kapur
Featured and Top Image by The Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Victoria Pickering’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License