Manchin to lead efforts to change voter count law

Joe Manchin is asking the Senate to pass changes to the 135-year-old Voter Count Act that would make it clear the vice president can’t nullify an election: Republicans fear Democrats will block provisions on the right to vote in the bill

  • West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin leads bipartisan effort to reform 135-year-old voter count law
  • Former President Donald Trump’s allies tried to use the law to get Vice President Mike Pence to cancel the 2020 election
  • Politico reported Wednesday that Manchin was trying to fast-track a bill with the goal of having a framework in place by the end of the week.
  • Republicans, who have signaled an openness to changing the law, disagree with Manchin’s quick timeline
  • They also fear that Democrats will try to insert provisions from the stalled suffrage bills into legislation.










West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is leading the bipartisan effort to reform the 135-year-old voter count law that former President Donald Trump’s allies tried to use to get the vice -President Mike Pence cancels the 2020 election.

Politico reported on Wednesday that Manchin is trying to fast-track a bill — having won most criticism for killing President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation — with the aim of having a framework in place by the end of the week.

Republicans, who have signaled an openness to changing the law, disagree with Manchin’s fast-paced timeline and are also concerned that Democrats will try to insert voting rights provisions into the legislation.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is leading the bipartisan effort to reform the 135-year-old voter count law that former President Donald Trump’s allies tried to use to get the vice -President Mike Pence cancels the 2020 election.

“Democrats keep trying to push the envelope and talk about challenging state election laws in federal courts,” a GOP aide familiar with the talks told Politico.

Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican from North Carolina, also pointed out that things are generally moving at a snail’s pace on Capitol Hill.

“Take a look at how long the bipartisan infrastructure bill lasts,” Tillis told the website. “Everyone thinks it’s going to be done in a week or two. But it took months.

“We are still weeks in a process of discovery and framing. So it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re looking at a May to June delay before we have a consensus work product,” he added.

Manchin and Tillis are part of a 16-member bipartisan group of senators seeking changes to the 1887 law.

Broad goals include clarifying that the vice president only plays a token role when Congress meets Jan. 6 after a presidential election to count Electoral College votes.

Additionally, the senators want to make it harder for members to challenge state election results.

The current law allows a challenge to proceed with the objection of only one member of the House and one senator.

In the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021 — when the Voter Count Act requires Congress to hold a joint vote-counting session — Trump allies pushed an unconventional interpretation of the law: that Pence could choose which vote of the electoral college count.

They went so far as to assemble “alternative” lists of pro-Trump voters on Dec. 14, 2020 – the date the Electoral College made Biden’s victory official – in key swing states to give Pence an option.

Pence finally accepted the traditional interpretation of the law — that his job was to count Electoral College votes and that was it.

In late January, Trump admitted he had wanted Pence to cancel the election that day.

Trump took offense to senators’ efforts to change the law, suggesting that by doing so, Pence had the power to choose the outcome.

“In fact, what they’re saying is that Mike Pence had the right to change the result, and now they want to take it right away,” Trump said. “Unfortunately, he did not exercise this power, he could have overturned the election! »

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