Rand Paul endorses Electoral Count Act reform

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is endorsing the Electoral Count Reform Act as necessary to save the Electoral College, saying on Monday the system needs to be reformed so it will not be abolished. 

Paul said in an op-ed in The Louisville Courier-Journal that recent elections have shown flaws in Congress’s role with the Electoral College, leaving the vice president’s role in counting the votes ambiguous and allowing one member of the House and Senate to object to counting a state’s votes. 

He said both political parties have exploited these issues to enact “political theater.” 

“In 2021, the theater act went too far and culminated in a mob disrupting the joint session of Congress to certify the presidential election,” Paul said. 

A bipartisan group of senators came forward in July with legislation to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887, responding to former President Trump and his allies’ claims that former Vice President Mike Pence had the power to not count certain votes. 

Pence maintained that he did not have the power to do so, but the senators believed that the legislation was too vague. 

The legislation would specifically clarify that the vice president’s role in counting the votes of the Electoral College is only ceremonial. It would also require that at least one-fifth of the members of both houses of Congress object to a state’s slate of electors for further review of the vote in that state. 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last week that he expects the Electoral Count Reform Act to be included in the end-of-year omnibus spending package to fund the government, which Congress must pass this week to avoid a government shutdown. 

Paul said conservatives should realize that the legislation is necessary to protect the Electoral College from left-wing attempts to abandon it. He noted comments from former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) supporting the abolition of the Electoral College and moving to elect a president by popular vote

Paul said that the electoral system is “brilliant” but has required improvement at times. Congress passed the Electoral Count Act of 1887 in response to a contested presidential election of 1876 in which several states sent competing slates of electors after both parties declared victory in those states. 

Paul said passing the legislation will demonstrate that the U.S. form of government will endure. 

“Our Founders provided us with an ingenious system for representative government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed without descending into a tyranny of the majority,” he said. “The responsibility of each generation has been to preserve this system.”

–Updated at 9:02 a.m.

Tags Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Electoral College Electoral Count Act Electoral Count Reform Act Mike Pence Rand Paul Rand Paul

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