(Oct. 26) The public strongly wants to reform the confusing “Electoral Count Act” that former President Donald Trump tried to use to reject slates of presidential electors certified by state governments.

That’s the conclusion from a new poll, which was jointly conducted by a Democratic and a Republican strategy group so as to deter partisan biases. This Washington Examiner column reports the poll for the first time, before its general public release.

At issue is the Electoral Count Act, the 1887 law with deficiencies I and others , Right and Left , have limned at length this year. It is the ECA that establishes the convoluted procedure by which Congress should resolve (alleged) discrepancies about state electoral slates. The confusing language and elaborate procedure are what allowed Trump lawyer John Eastman, who has since disavowed his own advice from back then, to argue, ludicrously, that Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to reject some of the pre-certified state electoral lists.


As I argued in September, there is no way to know which party in the future will be in a position to misuse, or to suffer from misuse of, the bewilderment caused by what one top legal scholar described as the ECA’s “turgid,” “repetitious,” and seemingly “contradictory” language. Therefore, both parties should want to clarify and simplify that law.

Now, a poll urges the parties to do just that. It was conducted jointly by the GS Strategy Group, which usually works for Republicans, and ALG, which usually works with Democrats. Those polled were provided a bare-bones sentence identifying the ECA as the law governing the counting of Electoral College votes, followed by this accurate and mostly neutral, although perhaps slightly leading, sentence: “The proposed update would establish more clearly defined rules for Congress and the vice president to follow when counting Electoral College votes in January, and [emphasis added] would make it more difficult for members of Congress to reject a state’s certified election results.”… [The full column is here.]




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