RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is one of 16 senators that introduced a bipartisan proposal to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887.
The proposal includes legislation to reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that electoral votes counted by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President.
“From the beginning, our bipartisan group has shared a vision of drafting legislation to fix the flaws of the archaic and ambiguous Electoral Count Act of 1887,” the senators said in a joint statement. “We have developed legislation that establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying and counting electoral votes for President and Vice President. We urge our colleagues in both parties to support these simple, commonsense reforms.”
Tillis said in his statement that the senators received input from state election officials, election experts and legal scholars.
There are two bills included in the reforms. The first bill– the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act– is co-sponsored by Tillis.
The second bill– the Enhanced Election Security and Protection Act– is also co-sponsored by Tillis.
The first bill includes the following provisions:
- The Electoral Count Reform Act would reform and modernize the current Electoral Count Act to make sure that the electoral votes counted by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for the U.S. President. This would replace current provisions of the 1887 law that maintain appropriate state and federal roles in selecting the President and Vice President.
- The Presidential Transition Improvement Act helps promote the orderly and peaceful transfer of power by providing guidelines for Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to receive federal resources to support their transition into office.
The second bill includes the following provisions:
- The Enhanced Penalties to Protect Our Elections Act would double the penalty under federal law for individuals who threaten or intimidate election officials, poll watchers, voters, or candidates. This would increase the punishment from no more than one year in prison to no more than two years in prison.
- The Postal Service Election Improvement Act aims to improve the handling of election mail by the U.S. Postal Service and provide guidance to states to improve their mail-in ballot processes where permitted under state law.
- The Election Assistance Commission Reauthorization section would reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission for five years. It would require the EAC to conduct cyber security testing as part of its testing and certification process for voting systems. The EAC is an independent agency that helps states improve the administration and security of federal elections.
- The Election Records Protection Act would clarify that current law requires electronic election records be preserved. It would also increase the existing maximum penalties for individuals who willfully steal, destroy, conceal, mutilate or alter election records from $1,000 to $10,000. The penalty also increases from up to one year in prison to up to two years in prison. The Act would also make it illegal to tamper with voting systems.
At the time of writing, the U.S. Senate has not scheduled a floor vote.
Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) were among the senators involved in the negotiations along with Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Warner (D-VA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).