“The Obscure Law That Enabled Trump’s Subversion of the Electoral College”

Matt Ford for TNR:

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about voting rights with two Democratic members of Congress, during which time I took the opportunity to draw their attention to a hitherto little-discussed law that played a big role in accelerating both President Donald Trump’s outlandish efforts to subvert the 2020 election: the Electoral Count Act of 1887, or ECA. Little did I know that days later, this law would find itself having a moment: in an interview with Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker, election law expert Rick Hasen fixed his gaze on this law as he outlined his plan to shore up the integrity of our elections.

The attention is deserved. At the moment, the Democratic majority in Congress is deliberating two major bills on voting rights and electoral reform, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Whether Democrats can muster enough support and overcome a filibuster to pass both or either bills remains to be seen. In either event, once the result is known, Congress should turn its attention to another urgent measure to stabilize American democracy: reforming the ECA.

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