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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2022

Group of Republican senators should reserve their support through ‘lame-duck’ session, avert ECA theatrics

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate and House are working on legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which is the law governing how Congress counts electoral votes following a presidential election.

Despite assurance from lawmakers that ECA reform would be narrowly focused on clarifying the role of Congress and the vice president in counting electoral votes, upon earning 60 votes for cloture the underlying Senate bill would be open to amendments by Democrats who want the bill to also advance provisions pertaining to the administration of U.S. elections found in H.R. 1. And H.R. 4. Such a scenario would then require that Republicans defeat ECA amendments on the Senate Floor, and then reject any attempted changes in a potential conference committee with the House.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats have argued that a revamp of the ECA is not a replacement for ‘voting rights’ legislation. Schumer said tackling ECA reform on its own was a “cynical idea” meant “to divert attention from the real issue.”

“It’s unacceptably insufficient and even offensive,” Schumer said.

According to the Associated Press, Democrats’ ECA-focused strategy largely relies on “forcing Republicans to relent.”

“Though their bid to dramatically rewrite U.S. election law failed…Democrats insisted their brinkmanship has made the new effort possible, forcing Republicans to relent, even if just a little, and engage in bipartisan negotiations.”

National Chairman of the Election Transparency Initiative and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued the following statement:

“After spending more than a year attempting to defeat an unprecedented Democrat power grab to rig state election laws in their favor, Republicans should take every precaution to ensure that the failed measures contained in H.R 1 and H.R. 4 cannot hitch a ride between now and the end of the year. Democrats may want to vote on ECA reform prior to the start of the new Congress in January, but they would also like to resuscitate their attempted takeover of U.S. elections and force it into law under the pretext of a ‘must-pass’ ECA bill. And if Republicans don’t comply? They would then be tasked with killing ECA amendments in another made-for-TV drama brought you by Chuck Schumer. Since a new law wouldn’t even go into effect until 2024, biting on a forced ECA vote before the end of the year is quite simply illogical. If ECA reform is truly a bipartisan priority, then Republicans who support it can wait until January and achieve the same result.

“Make no mistake, Democrats’ plan to override state election laws has been defined by division, deceit, and a completely uncredible ‘voter suppression’ myth. They’ve been supported by a 20-year, media-assisted propaganda campaign in place of truth, culminating in their attempted gutting of the legislative filibuster rule to force their takeover of elections into law. The reality is it’s never been easier for every American to register and vote than it is today, a measure of progress of which we should all be proud.”

Democrats’ failed legislation to override state election laws would give left-wing, unelected federal bureaucrats veto authority over state election laws, rigging the system in their favor and silencing millions of American voices to ensure they can’t lose. Additionally, the legislation would effectively abolish voter I.D. protections for most ballots, force states to register illegal aliens and 16-year-olds to vote, erode election safeguards enacted by many states—making it nearly impossible to detect fraud—while mandating unsecure and unverifiable absentee voting practices, overriding voter roll maintenance laws, and dramatically altering First Amendment protections by imposing unnecessary and unworkable regulatory standards.

“I’m encouraged my colleagues are discussing ways to address this. But amending the ECA is not a replacement for legislation to protect voting rights,” Sen. Tim Kaine said.

“While updating this law will bring needed clarity to our presidential elections, as Chair of the Rules Committee, with oversight over federal elections, I will continue pushing to advance other critical protections for our democracy included in the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D).

“What other things could be put in there?” said Rep Jim Clyburn regarding an ECA reform bill. “I want to deal with more than just counting the votes for the president. I want to be sure that we count the votes for everybody else. So voter nullification like they’re doing in Georgia, I think it can be addressed.”

Despite dishonest rhetoric that Georgia’s new election integrity laws would cause widespread ‘voter suppression,’ voters turned out in the 2022 primary at historically high levels. Around 1.9 million Georgians voted in 20922, far exceeding the 1.2 million who voted in the May 2018 primaries.

The Election Transparency Initiative, a partnership between the American Principles Project (APP) and Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America was organized to combat federal H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 legislation and advocate for state-based election reforms that voters can trust.