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The bipartisan bill that could protect elections


With the 2022 midterm elections mostly over, members of Congress are back on the Hill to wrap up loose legislative ends. One of the bipartisan bills floating through the lame-duck session is the Electoral Count Reform Act, a bill that would add protections to the presidential transfer of power. So, what exactly does this legislation do to protect elections, and is it enough? 


Jonquilyn Hill (@jonquilynhill)


Sofi LaLonde, producer

Cristian Ayala, engineer

Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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This episode is brought to you by staples you're busy running your business. So it's time to let you in on a secret. You can ship where you shop at staples yeah, it's true they're. The best kept secret in shipping staples can keep your business going from shipping services to supplies and they're even open early and late seven days a week, so ship it at staples and get twenty five percent off. You ps express shipping services in store. Only exclusions apply ends december. Thirty, first for more details, visit staples connect, dot com, slash shipping, the job. Hello and welcome to another episode of the weeds. I'm john, when hill. nearly two years ago, election deniers attack the capital in an attempt to stop the electoral college vote. From being certain
At the time, our president donald trump and his allies attempted to exploit this. One do it and thirty five year old law called the electoral count act of eighteen? Eighty, seven, in fact, senator TED crews gave a speech about it. The framers knew what then we're doing when they gave responsibilities too to congress. We have a responsibility, and I would urge that we follow the precedent of eighteen. Seventy seven, the electoral count act, explicitly allows objection such as this one for votes that we're not regularly given. fast forward to now congresses, inflamed accession and lawmakers on both
as of the isle or trying to pass legislation to prevent something. Like january six from happening again, it's called the electoral count, reform act. We wanted to dig into the ins and outs of the bill, so we called re cason, I'm recast and I'm a professor at you, feel a school of law and I direct the safeguarding democracy project before we dive into the electoral count reform act. I want to talk a little bit about what its reforming in the first place. What is the electoral count act of eighteen? Eighty, seven, when you look the constitution itself, contain a lot of rules about how it is that congress is supposed to figure out. Who is one, the presidency and what? Electoral count act is: is it
of rules that give those details, for example, suppose that somebody object, to the counting of electoral college was from particular state what supposed to happen, and the act tells us. while the house, the senate, that I've been meeting together, they adjourn and they meet in their separate chambers, may have two hours of debate, and then they vote, so the electric kanak most basically is the set of ground rules for congress to figure out which candidate got the most electoral college roads and then I'll. The kind of subsidiary rules of how to deal with catholics about that What was going on in eighteen, eighty, seven, that this legislation needed to even happened in the first place, so congress adds the twelve amendments to the constitution after problems with the old rules growth,
in the first place, Kansas gets to be the president's in the second place. Candidate gets to be the vice president. It might be from opposite parties, and so we set it up actually they're going to run as a ticket to make makes for a much more efficient government. But then there was dispute in eighteen. Seventy six. This was the famous Hayes tilden presidential election comes right after civil war, and that you have to form a commission to resolve that they make the chief justice head of the commission. They reach a compromise that compromise by the way is what ends appeared of reconstruction in the south, so it has some very terrible consequences unrelated to elections for the united states leads to up furtive disenfranchisement of african american voters in the south that lasts for another almost century, but congress realises, after this dispute election, that they need to come up with some more detailed, better rules, and so they passed the electoral counteract to try to do that.
and then so interesting. I feel like something that gets lost in all of this is that impact on reconstruction? How did this you know specific piece of legislation in the impacting mad, so it wasn't the legend in itself that impact that, but it was the compromise in terms of how the presidency would be resolved, let the republican, when let the democrats in the south reclaim their power over their government, and change. The rules to suppress african american voting, which actually. There was a period of time after the civil war, when, had a number of african american legislators of people who were elected to office in them,
what comes to a screeching halt with the the period of the redemption, so that was a very heavy price to pay to have this election resolved, and I think congress wanted to avoid a constitutional and national crisis. The next time there was a close election and some dispute over which elect college rose from a state, should be counted. How similar is this moment? We're in to the moment we were in win, the electoral count act was originally past. I mean, I think I don't know like you, the fact that the voting rights act has been. You know defamed in major ways in the compromise ended reconstruction, or you know, there's people saying like oh this election the fraud that happened back then too. I are the parallels between these mode in our country. Really strong or remember. The electoral count act was about a decade after the end of the civil war. I there
federal troops for a number of years in southern states, men of getting withdrawn. After this he felt an election eighteen. Seventy six rights, so we may be polarize now, but that was an actual war between the states. So it's hard to draw parallels with the period so far, in the past, but maybe you know the optimistic side as we made it through that period, we'll make it through this one, the less optimistic side, as we made it through that period at the cost of the enfranchising african american voters for ninety more years, yeah that was just reading a case. Nineteen o three case Giles vs Harris is not one that people spend a lot of time. Talking about talk about dred, scott right, but giles the case that comes after congress passes and states ratify the fifteenth amendment
if the memo says no racial discrimination in voting and in the Giles case, an african american male. Since the time when only men could vote african male goes to the supreme court and he says alabama is disenfranchising me because I'm black and the supreme court says yeah. That's a problem! That's too bad there's nothing we can do about it to even after we fight a civil war and congress and the states pass a constitutional amendment, it didn't stick. It took another six decades before the voting rights I came, and so the legacy of slavery and a fights over our elections. It's been a very long struggle. I think about the enfranchisement of women back in eighteen, seventy four! Now really,
it's the ways of a woman, a suit in the supreme court, and she said you know we just passed the fourteenth amendment fourteenth amendment says that citizens are entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship. All bizarre! It's part of the fourteenth amendment near nyc, near the equal protection clause. Should I'm a citizen. I should be allowed to vote and shrimp cross said: yeah you're, a citizen, but voting is not a privilege of citizenship really up to the states, and so then it took another forty years written summoned the passage of the nineteenth amendment and nineteen, twenty, so the struggle over voting and voting rights has been really long and has been fought really hard and and in the last few decades the supreme court has been making some of the progress that was in contained in the voting rights act I used the word defamed earlier. It's made it harder and harder to protect voting rights, so in a really difficult moments in this country before twenty twenty,
not one of my main concerns was about states making it harder for people to vote for no good reason now after tonight, I am even more concerned about the basics. Can we count our votes correctly and have the winner declared the winner, but it's not quite as dire as it was a few months ago with the midterm elections and with the reform legislation to fix the electoral count act on the cusp. I hope of passing let's fast forward a lot to january twenty twenty one, I mean what gaps in the electoral count act to january sixth expose. So I figure I have to go back a little bit further to okay november third, twenty twenty tell we have the election between Biden trump, and that was an election that took place in the middle of a pandemic, a method. Pandemic. Tens of millions of more americans are looking to vote buying male than in past elections donald trump who was railing against the expanded use about by me.
and we knew that mail. And balloting was going to take longer to process to be able to count those votes on election. val trump was ahead in pennsylvania and then the time we got to the saturday after the election when the networks right the call it for Biden down Tromp was saying the election was stolen and he wasn't gonna put up with it, and so he tried a number of ways to turn his loss into a victory in one way was two courtney argue there was fraud. He argued there were regularities in part is regularities that he claimed were due to Changes that were made in released to voting during the pandemic. He lost all, but one of those cases You want on just a minor point him and one case last over sixty of these cases, and then he was for another strategy and one of those strategies, was to try to mess with the electoral college count. So how do you do
I so? There's a provision that, in the electoral counteract, was actually from an an earlier congressional statute, but guess incorporates incorporated electoral count that says that, when a state fails to make a choice, for president an election day, the legislature can step in this is the so called failed election provision. It's imagined, for example, as Florida, this terrible hurricane on election day, people can't vote, and so there is no choice made for president. Then what will then the state can step in and the state legislature can pick the electors directly. That's like a backup provision. That's in this act and trump wanted to use that to say: hey, look: there's fraud, there's irregularities in how the election was, Let's call that a failed election unless that the legislature step in so he was calling legislators in michigan in pennsylvania in wisconsin
arizona is calling the governor of arizona. These are all states where Biden one but where there was a republican legislature and where he hoped that the legislature could come in and your points, a different site of electors, never be multiple sites of electors coming in and congress. Have to deal with it. So he was trying to exploit that part of the law now I don't think a fair reading of a failed election is one in which a candidate claims fraud, so I don't think there was any legal basis for the state legislatures in those states to step in and try to change the results. But that was one of the things he attempted. You may remember if we fast forward to January sixth itself to remember the chance of hang mike pence, yeah. oh, my god yeah
So why should pence behind because he wasn't doing what trump wanted? What did you want, while the electoral counteract says that the vice president presides over this joint session of congress kind of like the masters come on it's over now we shall open the envelopes they contain. The winner, you know like in Gaza and the electoral college vote, goes to write and tromp was claiming. Oh, you know actually under the electoral counteract the vice premier, can decide on his own or her own, to just throw it electoral college votes. If there was some irregularity, nothing to support that, but that was the claim and a mike pence got advice from an eminent Conservative former judge they make a leg. Who said you can't do that, but he was here in his other ear from former la professor john eastman, that, oh, yes, you can so pen said? No, it's my constitutional duties just accept the valid electrical droughts and let conquer
vote on those votes for president of the united states are as follows: Joseph our biden, junior of the state, Delaware has received three hundred and six votes: Donald J, tromp of the state of florida. As save two hundred and thirty two votes, so those are two examples of pieces of the electoral counteract a trump unsuccessfully try to manipulate to get a better result. yes, the question I have, as you know, why is the reform act necessary if these things are nikolay illegal as they stand now I did. It sounds like these are things that would not hold up, and the court of law. Is this necessary if this isn't legal in the first place? so one of the we learned about the twenty twenty election is that
in order for our system of determining who the president is to work, people have to act in good faith. There was this moment is now the subject of investigation in georgia, where Donald trump calls the secretary of state Georgia brad reference burger, so I want to do is, as I use one fine eleven thousand seven in eighty love, which is one more than we are and reference burger records, Call releases that comes up a controversy now it's a criminal investigation, brad rapids burger, showed integrity and didn't do that. But imagine there is bad rapids berger and he does that and then he says, look I don't know who is really won the election. There was fraud. I think the legislature needs to step in sending a different slate of electors, or I think the governor should not sign the certificate of alive.
europe, which is what one of the jobs of the governor of the state and then congress decides in our we're, going to accept this alternative slight. That says that trump as one georgia, rather than by not clear that the courts with step in because this is an inherently political question and courts generally dont- want to get involved in questions where the constitution says, there's a different branch of government that has to decide this like it's the Senate that tries impeachment it's the congress, the council agro college votes, so why we need a chair. she liked will counteract is because next time some of the people in charge might be less scrupulous and they might try to take advantage of unclear rules so rule that says, for example, the vice president has no power to throw it. Electoral college, boats or state legislatures have no power to send an alternative votes unless
has been some kind of catastrophe like a hurricane earthquake? That would be helpful, so we are going to take a quick break, but when we're back we'll take a closer look at what this legislation actually does. Support for today's show comes from click up if you manage a team of ten or more good luck cause. That sounds like a lot, but if you're in that position and you're looking for a way to stay connected to your team and meet those deadlines, quick
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Any fries is ready when you are proud of our way barrier and look at that. The anticipation and conversations in a vehicle that came from enterprise with peace of mind, of our complete green pledge, curbside, rentals and low tax transactions left so many vehicles of all kinds. So you can relax and focus on the moment, all of them and her prize connecting you to all the places you love welcome back to the weeds, I'm John one hell we're talking with you see, allays rick Hassen about the electoral count, reform act, so rick there's a house bill which is the in election reform act and a senate, bilbil lecter electoral count reform act,
and you know eventually, these bills will likely be reconciled, but first of all, what are the similarities between these two pieces of legislation if first important to point out that these bills have to pass in this session of congress, because when Kevin, Mccarthy or another republican a speaker, how this bills not coming up and there's not a lot of time in the lame duck session. The session after the election, which is gonna end around christmas or before christmas, is a lot that congress needs to do there now talking about throwing this provision into an omnibus, ending bill or into a defence author there's just gonna become part of a bigger bill must pass bill shock Think we'll have a kind of like the? How go becomes a law. I don't are going to have that where the house passed as one versions the past is another they meet in a conference than they both vote again, there's just no time for that. So. Probably the san it's going to be the one. That's gonna dictate this
and the house is going to go along, so let me focus a little on the senate bill and just on the three main points I think are worth mentioning. The first is that's the failed election provision would be gone so state legislatures could not come in and claim fraud and try and sending an alternate slate of lectures. The second is clarifying the role of the vice president, which you think republicans would be on board. Given you know, who's gonna be presiding over counting on january sixth, two thousand and twenty five it's going to become law harris. The republicans want her to be able to throw the electoral college vote she doesn't like. I don't think so. No, the third provision, the one that I think is maybe among the most interesting it to deal with. The role of the governor and this is something we haven't talked about. So I was worried in the mid term elections if either carry lake who's running for governor arizona or doug
Austria know who's running for governor in of if either one of them had won, because both of them said that they would not of certified the election for Biden had they been governor of their states. in twenty twenty they watched it corrupt election happen. and then they certified a corrupt election and that The problem, you would not have certified our like. No, I would not hearing we. Actually you can easily imagine them not signing a certificate binding if it was trump verses, Biden, two and twenty twenty four. Now what provision of the electoral counter says that if there is a conflict where state sense in multiple slates of electors, The one signed by the governor is the one that should take precedence so that be really scary in the event of a an election denier as a governor, I think we're going to be able to dodge that bullet for twenty twenty four, because the our elections now have taken place for all the governors will be in place during two thousand and twenty four
in a boring, you know somebody dying or resiny or something, but this thing you have to worry about. The future of this legislation is not just about twenty twenty four, it's about the what you know what's gonna happen in fifteen twenty years, if we have if trump is type candidate either a republican or democrat. We, you know, that's that's a worry, and so one of the things that the electoral count reform act would do is say that if a governor tries to mess, the count that there is a right to file a special kind of election challenge case before three judge court of federal judges with a direct appeal, the united states supreme court. It's the same kind of structure that we use for certain kinds of voting rights, cases and other cases certain election cases that
We want to get a diversity of opinion. We don't want just one judge to be hearing it and we want it to be fast tracked to the supreme court. So it has this kind of judicial review provision, and so the reason this is significant as say I do trust the courts There are lots of Democrats who look back at bush vs gore, and they don't really trust the courts, but the courts did the right thing in two thousand and twenty, and would you rather this being be resolved by the supreme court or you would you rather this be resolved by the house of rep? it is your whoever controls it, and so the choice is made in this proposed legislation is to give that choice to the body. That is the least likely to be criticised which would be the courts are. There any alternatives to solving that dilemma other than the court's like it. It just seems like at every turn the entity that would make this disease Jane is politicized, as you know, has a dog in the fight is there
non partisan answer to this. I don't think so. In the short term I mean. Ultimately, I wrote this back in my twenty twelve book called the worse. I think we need to fundamentally change how we run our elections and we need to have an independent, non partisan body running our elections like they do in most other advanced democracies around the world in canada, Australia, germany, uk mexico, they have independent bodies. You look at other countries around the world. They don't have decentralized, partisan actor. So we ve got this very convoluted system and, given that the court's seem to be the least worst option- and it it's just so india, because, as far as democracy goes, I would consider the united states. You know a pretty old one, but it sounds like Are we a little bit behind the times and how're running this committee?
do you know other democracies around the world? Well, what I say is the fact that, where an old one is to our disadvantage, most other constitutions are newer. The nurse our constitution does not even contain in an affirmative right to vote. Doesn't the franchise anybody we're talking about the two thousand election earlier in the bush, vs gore case, where the supreme court resolved the election dispute between bush and gore in florida that ultimately led to bush being chosen as president, the supreme court said that states could take back their power to choose presidential electors directly and not allow the people to vote in a future election. So a state could choose to disenfranchise their own voters from voting for president for a future election and that wouldn't violate the constitution. So we ve got this really old constitution that doesnt well protect voting.
ice. It doesnt contain an independent body to run elections or anything like that, and we have a constitution that is incredibly difficult to a man. I saw how can you amend the constitution that the normal ways or constitutional amendment that requires a vote of two thirds of each house of congress, bats coming again, you don't do that three quarters of the state legislatures have to sign onto in our polarized times hard to see how you get anything through. I want him back up and a little bit more about some of the provisions of the east sea, our ay and wheat. We talked about this a little bit earlier, but the role of vice presidents in all of this, and in just to clarify what would the role of the EU
president be under the scr a and how would that be different than what we have now? Would it be different at all? I dont think that there be a substantive change. The vice president would still be the master of ceremonies with no power to do anything in deciding which electoral college votes, you're gonna be counted, but it would clarify that trumps theory that the vice president have this power is wrong. So that's helpful again, you know, tromp was kind of an election subversion advocate, but he was not a very competent one. I'm worried about the next one who's going to be more competent, and so we want to close down the avenues for trying to steal an election from the next demagogue, who might try to use her power to do something That is there a reason that we need the vice president, in particular, do this ministerial role. I understand vp as president of the senate this And whose certifies- but I again, these are people who are
beholden to political parties like is there someone else who could or should be doing this? All these people are political people, say you know, if you didn't have the vice president you'd have someone from the senate. There was actually a moment. There was some confusion where chuck grassland, whose kind of the next person in charge Large was gonna, be the one presiding, but you do know vice president to break a tie in the senate. Here right now we have a fifty fifty senate vice president harris's call them fair amount to break size, It just seems, like I don't know, I can feel kind of despondent because kind of like oh, my gosh leg are their answers to this. Like? Is there a way out of this kind of political predicament? We ve gotten ourselves until well. Let me remind you that in two thousand, after bush, versus gore regular loses. He presides over the session where bush is declared. The president george w bush of the state of tat
as received for president of the united states, two hundred and seventy one votes AL gore state of tennessee has risen. Two hundred and sixty six votes like nobody was wondering is AL gore going to give up power? Is he going to throw off the votes from Florida right? We didn't ask these questions when bush gives up power to Barack Obama. After serving two terms in two thousand and eight, when obama was elected, nobody was thinking canada, Democracy survive this transition of power it just like wasn't on the radar I've. She wrote a blog post for my legs, my blog remarking about how we accept these peaceful transitions our as though their natural, and as though it doesn't take work, but it does now. Of course, you know you're fast forward, a little bit in time and you realize things are dice here. Then we thought, because again, our system depended upon people acting in good faith and they don't always acting
faith and when you have a demagogue who is encouraging people to not act in good faith, then start seeing where all of the holes are and what needs to be plugged so that you don't have a problem in the future. I think he s just kind of take in anything love is just taken the peaceful transition of power for granted of, like oh yeah, that's how elections work, you do an election and then the next person becomes per. didn't and then you just keep going, but I guess this yet expose that, like that's, not necessarily, all The case right- and you know I remember- I first started teaching back in the nineties- that we didn't even teach about how the mechanics of voting work like you were useful machines and the other fellows, have to be later and the results report. It just wasn't on the radar screen. It was, I taught electoral law courts. We talked about things like redistricting, encamping finance and the voting rights act, but
We can talk about a lecture ministration. Now it's a major part of my course into that then there was a wake up call for all of us when we learned how bad them, scenery was that was used to count votes now that machinery has been greatly improved. We need to improve a more, but has been greatly improved. We think back in thousand that about a million people were disenfranchised by bad machines. Their votes just simply were not counted because the machines were not good enough. Remember those upon hard voting machines, but where they hanging cad exactly so a lot of those ballots. Didn't get counted so technically, who has improved a lot? We need to do more A lot of the machines that were bought after two thousand are now reaching the end of their useful life, but we can't take anything for granted now and it's bad enough when you have a polarized.
society where so much is on the line where people think about our elections is being these existential moments, like you know, what's the future of america gonna be if this person wins, but if even worse, when you have people your mining, the integrity of the election itself by spreading lies about it being rigged about that leads. To is a loss of the expertise. That comes with election illustrators people who work in election offices, there retiring their quitting because their subjects of two harassment, some of them, had death threats. I mean it's just it's not any way to run a democracy, and so we have to think about how to have secure elections across the board when it comes to the beginning of the process of voter registration to the end. After there's a re, out or an election contest. That can and brings me to another part of this- that I'm curious about an that's we talk about this before, but the
held election provision. Now, what exactly is a failed? election. Have we ever experienced that in this country before so? I don't think that provision has been invoked before but you're asking an excellent question because, as congress has been debating what to put in the reform? The question was about you know: how do you define what should count in the event of a problem, and it looks like congress is going to settle on a word like catastrophic. you can imagine a doll from claiming that the fraud with catastrophic didn't you got to get a ride it in a way that talks about something like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, or something like that back. When I wrote my book election, el down and twenty twenty one of the things I feared was a russian attack on the power grid and democratic
in a swing state. You imagine taken down the power in Detroit. Oh, my god. What would you do if something like that happened? I mean that can be a failed election. Let's say that michigan everyone in Michigan can vote, except for the people live in Detroit that could swing the election. Yes, but I'd say that Michigan GM look a lot that those joy voters till we do need to have something in our rules to deal with that. Are we gonna just not count the votes from the people of Michigan? Let them do it do over what was already a federal law that says for us to vote on the same day about what happens if people can't vote because of a terrorist attack or imagine earthquake in California earth something like that. So we can take out the provision about failed elections, and the proposed legislation does that. But we need to have some backup in the event of a real catastrophe. The constitution
and safeguards against so much, but I just think the people who wrote it were likely not thinking about a first of all power grid. didn't exist by this idea ok, guys, let's literally rain, check and do this election other day. We can do things that simply are. Easily, can we write aside from going to war. Elections are probably the most complex thing we do as a country at once. You know Think about what we have to mobilise to run an election. No one's allied stay from another was written. We ve got around
it's a law, that's going to last us till after we're gone in order to safeguard american democracy as you've got to kind of think ahead. What could happen? How could people try to manipulate things and you can't anticipate every contingency, but you can try to plan well what? If the bad actor is the governor? What if the bad actor is the legislature? How do you resolve these kinds of things? Next up we'll talk about what this legislation is missing and what else needs to happen if we want to reform our electoral
process will be right back. This episode is brought to you by staples you're, busy running your business. So it's time to let you in on a secret. You can ship where you shop at staples yeah, it's true they're. The best kept secret and shipping staples can keep your business going from shipping services to supplies and they're even open early and late seven days a week, so shepherd at staples and get twenty five percent of? U p s express shipping services in store. Only exclusions apply ends december. Thirty, first for more details, visit staples connect, dot, com, slash shipping- this is the weeds and we're talking about a lecture form with rick Hassen. The director of the safeguarding democracy project So you mentioned the lame duck session before, and you know tat mean, plays a role in this. Can you talk
a bit more about that urgency in passing this now, do you think, with the Republican controlled house. He's just gonna straight up, be a no go in twenty twenty three. I don't think there's any way that this legislation passes for the twenty twenty four election if it doesnt pass in the next few weeks simply because this legislation is a repudiation of the strategy that Donald trump tried to use in the twenty twenty election and Why would we think that cabin mccarthy, or whoever ends up being chosen by republicans to be the speaker of the house would bring that up for a vote? So I just don't see an end
The reason this moment is actually hopeful for this reform. In contrast to the two years, the Democrats spent trying to pass the for the people act or the freedom to vote act failed because the filibuster most legislation requires sixty votes in the senate. Those other election reforms didn't have sixty votes right now. The electoral count reform act has thirteen republican, co sponsors and support of most. If not all, of the Democrats. That means there's probably at least sixty three votes, and I would guess more to pass this thing. That's a moment have to take some of those senators are retiring centre. Blunt centre portman, the ones you been, the republican moderates, the ones who recognise that our election system needs to be guarded in the future. Against attempts to subverted there there retiring now is the moment we have to strike while the motto
Publicans are willing to support it in the senate, while democratic control, the house doesn't happen. Now I'm going to be much more nervous about twenty twenty four twenty twenty five than I otherwise would be still this legislation. While it's important, it only deals with one part of the election and that certifying the votes for president, what else do you think we need? As far as voting reform goes on the federal level? I would call this legislation absolutely essential but insufficient to deal with the problem of election subversion. Let me give you one example of a really important provision. I'd like to see on the federal level in every state states for counties gets
choose. What voting machines they're going to use and, according to some statistics, put together by the Brennan center about nine percent of voters voted and twenty twenty on fully electronic voting machines. That is voting machines that don't produce a piece of paper. Just imagine donald trump in two thousand and twenty. If it was one of those states that he was claiming were full of fraud, so in georgia, do you remember trump says both for fraudulent in georgia, I don't trust them. Brad reference burger. The state of georgia ordered a full hand recount of every ballot. In georgia, they counted everything about my hand, and was an exact, but it was very, very close to the results that were announced. If there's a whole electronic voting machine, I need your recount. You push a button and it's gonna give you the same number, there's no way to verify what the software is doing in the machine, and
More importantly, no way to convince people that the number thus produced is curate if they otherwise want to believe that there's fraud because there's no nothing physical that could be examined one of the things I think congress must do, but it's apparently not going to do in this upcoming legislation is mandate that, for Better elections, everyone's gotta vote on voting machines are producing these paper again that kind of gets into this idea of what can be done on the state and local level? I mean elections and when they are federal there very much up to individual states in like what can be done. That level are their movements among, like states to get together and kind of you now stand arise like what what's the answer to this, because it does seem like a kind of big issue so congress after the two thousand election passed legislation, call the help america vote act or haha,
and it did a number of things, including providing money for upgrades to voting machines, to make them more liable. Didn't for states to make the change but offer the money if they did make the change. So right now these choice, on the state or local level, but congress is part of the constitution article, one section: four, and he found the called the elections clause. That says the states get to set the rules for conducting fair elections, but is subject to federal, override so ninety. Ninety three, for example, congress past thing commonly known as the motor voter law, more formerly known as the national voter registration act. That says for federal elections, states have to offer certain ways to allow people to vote like they can register vote using was called the federal postcard. It's just like a very basic bare bones. Piece of paper contains a very basic information states have to accept that as a means of voting. So that's an example of congressional override congress can come in and it can override the stew
it's onward voting machines is going to use the federal elections. Okay, so they just haven't done it haven't done it they should. There are other things too. So another thing I'd like to see is increase the penalties for trying to mess with elections the people who actually physically invaded the capital. Some of them are being prosecuted. Some of them have already been convicted. There are investigations of the fake electors. Those people who purported to be electors for trump who gathered and sent in fake certificates of Action we need to clarify who could be criminally responsible for engaging in this conduct and raise the penalties so that people will be more deterred from trying to engage in this activity, and we need to do more to protect election workers and election officials or under attack both physically in some cases and verbally. If we're gonna have a decentralized system and we're gonna use civil servants on a local level to be on the front lines, we ve gotta give them our support. So
with confidence in our electoral system has just it's really been fractured. Are you hopeful that this is part of the process? To begin to restore that faith? Is this the best first step to get people trusting in our democracy? Again? I don't know that. I see this as something that's going to affect public confidence, one way or the other, because I mean besides listeners, of the weeds, how many americans, who think know the electoral count act is passing the electoral count act is for those of us who study this all the time. We know this is necessary to stop the next disaster. But what gives me more hope is the results of the twenty twenty two midterms, wherein every swings. We're election deniers, were running far state office like governor secular state, they lost. You saw republicans.
voting for republican candidates who are not elections in irish, but rejecting the elections nightmares, and that is significant. That tells you that people are paying attention. This and recognise the danger, so people may not know the minutiae that we, when talking about, but the understand the big picture. The big picture is that our trump and his allies, tried to turn his election last into electrical election victory, trying to manipulate the holes in our system and we need to plug those horse, and so I hope just a larger movement to focus on the dangers of Elections in I was an election subversion enforced.
On the ledge, with taking a step back from the edge of the ledge right recasting, thank you so much for joining us. I was so great to be with you. That's all for us today. Thank you to recast and for joining us are produced yourself, you blonde krishna ya'll engineer this episode. Libby nelson is our editorial adviser are editorial rector is rector's, am hall and I'm your host John Glen help. The weeds is part of the vocs media podcast network.
Transcript generated on 2022-12-09.