Press release July 20, 2022
United States: Freedom House Applauds Momentum on Electoral Count Act Reform
Bipartisan package demonstrates that Congress can address clear weaknesses in American democracy.
In response to the announcement of a bipartisan package of legislation in the Senate that would revise the 1887 Electoral Count Act to remove ambiguities that nearly disrupted the presidential election certification process on January 6, 2021, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The terrible events surrounding the transfer of presidential power after the 2020 election put a spotlight on critical weaknesses in US democracy,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “Our political leaders must come together to address these problems through substantive reform, and the bipartisan bills unveiled today are a promising first step. Among other provisions, the bills introduce important safeguards to prevent state or federal lawmakers from overturning legitimate presidential election results, and would remove any doubt about the vice president’s role in the certification process. It will take these sorts of pragmatic, bipartisan measures to build confidence and momentum for further repairs to America’s battered democracy, which remains essential to the global struggle to uphold human freedom and halt the expansion of authoritarian rule.”
The Electoral Count Act governs the process by which Congress receives and counts the votes of the presidential electors certified by the states. Over the past several weeks, the House of Representatives’ Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol has held public hearings to examine the various ways in which then President Donald Trump and his most radical supporters sought to exploit aspects of the 1887 law in a bid to disrupt the counting process and overturn election results that had been duly certified and consistently upheld by state and federal courts.
Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free. We inform the world about threats to freedom, mobilize global action, and support democracy’s defenders.
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