Kuster Votes to Protect Future Presidential Elections
Washington, September 21, 2022
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster helped to pass bipartisan legislation to protect future presidential elections. The Presidential Election Reform Act will ensure the Electoral Count Act cannot be used to subvert our democracy and protects against efforts to throw out lawful election results.
“Today, we passed historic legislation to safeguard future presidential elections and ensure the Electoral Count Act cannot be used to subvert the will of American voters,” said Rep. Kuster. “The fraudulent, coordinated efforts to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election results sought to undermine public confidence in our elections and ultimately led to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol and our democracy.”
“While those efforts to reject lawful election results were not successful, they exposed vulnerabilities in our system and made clear that more must be done to protect future presidential elections,” Kuster continued. “I was proud to vote for this bipartisan legislation, and I will continue working to improve election security.”
The Electoral Count Act does not favor either political party. Specifically, the bill:
Enacts New Counting Rules
This bill enacts clear, comprehensive counting rules that make the following important reforms:
Ensures that Congress Receives a Single, Accurate Certificate from Each State
This bill sets a deadline by which governors must transmit their states’ electoral appointments to Congress. If a governor fails to do so, or if he or she transmits inaccurate certificates of appointment, this legislation authorizes candidates to obtain a federal court order requiring the governor to transmit the state’s lawful certificate. If the governor refuses, then the court shall order another appropriate state official to issue the lawful certificate. The governor’s certificate (or the certificate of the other state official, as the case may be) shall be conclusive for Congress’ purposes at the electoral count.
Requires States to Select Electors Pursuant to State Laws as They Exist Prior to Election Day
The bill requires states to conduct presidential elections under state laws as they exist prior to Election Day, which will clarify that there is no legal authority allowing state legislatures to “take back” their electoral appointment power after the election if they do not like the results.
Ensures that Presidential Elections are Only Extended for Genuine Catastrophic Events
The bill amends the Electoral Count Act’s “failed elections” provision to ensure that a state’s presidential election can only be extended if a federal judge agrees that the state has experienced a genuine catastrophic event affecting enough ballots to swing the outcome of the state’s election.
Prohibits Election Officials from Refusing to Certify Presidential Elections
The Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the United States Constitution prohibit election officials from willfully refusing to count ballots or certify elections in accordance with state election laws that exist on Election Day. This bill allows presidential candidates to seek federal injunctive relief against election officials to enforce these constitutional requirements in presidential elections if necessary.