How are state legislatures responding to the Electoral Count Reform Act?

The Electoral Count Reform Act tweaked a number of aspects of presidential elections. Last December, I noted that state legislatures needed to reexamine their election codes. And many state legislatures have noticed and are responding appropriately.

Some responses are smaller. North Dakota, for instance, enacted HB 1192, which cleans up a few provisions of the state election code, and it clarifies that electors meet the first “Tuesday after the second Wednesday in December,” instead of the first “Monday,” as the old Electoral Count Act required (and as state law had required in kind).

Likewise, Kansas enacted HB 2087, which swaps Tuesday for Monday in state code. It also added, “Any contest to the election of presidential electors shall be made in accordance with the provisions of 3 U.S.C. § 5.” That’s meant (a bit inartfully) to instruct state courts that contests must conclude at least six days before the time fixed for meeting of electors, as a duty is placed on the executive to issue a certificate of ascertainment.

Indiana’s HB 1135 was enacted, updates a handful of dates in the election code, and swaps Tuesday for Monday and added another requirement from the Electoral Count Reform Act, that certificates of presidential electors have a “security feature” as required by the ECRA.

Nevada, likewise, is considering a bill, SB60, that requires that courts considering election contest “must determine the results of the contest before the deadline to issue and submit the certificate of ascertainment pursuant to 3 U.S.C. § 5. Election contests shall take precedence over all regular business of the court in order that results of elections shall be determined as soon as practicable.”

California is considering AB 507, which also swaps Tuesday for Monday. It also adds a provision empowering the Governor to change the meeting place of electors in the event of a disaster–a wise idea in the even the Capitol where the electors are supposed to meet is, say, on fire.

I’m sure there are other bills out there, or laws enacted. So far, nothing particularly contentious. But state legislatures are certainly, and importantly, responding in many small ways to the ECRA.

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