“How the Voting Rights Bills Miss the Target on Election Subversion”

Nate Cohn criticizes the FTVA and the JLVRAA (now merged into a new megabill) for not thwarting election subversion. However, the megabill does now include a substantial number of anti-subversion provisions. And while it doesn’t reform the Electoral Count Act, there are other efforts afoot to do just that. If the megabill is somehow able to pass, it’ll be much easier to fit ECA amendments through the same opening (though see Ned’s post about why ECA amendments might be more effective if done on a bipartisan basis).

While the various legislative paths might protect access to voting or hold the promise of clarifying how Congress counts electoral votes, the proposals are largely silent on a crucial time frame — the period between the polls closing in November to January, when Congress gathers to count electoral votes. This is when election administrators go about the once routine business of counting and certifying election results. . . .

The Freedom to Vote Act has evolved considerably since the summer, when its predecessor contained almost no provisions to address the issue. Now it attempts to respond to the numerous Republican election laws that target election workers and nonpartisan election officials, while including other provisions that indirectly protect the process of counting votes — including paper ballot and chain of custody requirements, and safeguards against discarding mail ballots because of a missing security envelope or inexact signature match.

But the proposed laws do not regulate the process of certifying the vote — the focal point for Mr. Trump and his allies as they tried to overturn the last election. While their attempt ended in failure, some of their efforts came close enough to represent a credible path for future election subversion.

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