Government and Politics
September 28, 2022
Video: Capito Helps Advance Bipartisan Electoral Count Act Reform
Click here or on the image above to watch Senator Capito’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, today participated in a business meeting to report the bipartisan Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act to the Senate floor. This legislation would reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887, and would ensure the electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President, as well as promote a peaceful transition of power between the outgoing and incoming President.
Below is a transcript of Senator Capito’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“I’d like to thank the Chair and Ranking Member for scheduling this business meeting to consider a bill I am proud to have worked on and is important to strengthen our process – the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act.
“As I, and many of my colleagues in the working group have said, the bill crafted by a bipartisan group of senators offers a commonsense solution to a recurring problem.
“Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have sought to use the Electoral College certification process to overturn the results of elections they do not personally like.
“I have long-championed our decentralized electoral system, which gives states the power to design and enforce their election laws to meet the needs of their constituents. Because of this, I do not believe that Members of Congress should overturn lawfully cast votes.
“That is why I proudly joined the Senate working group, and strongly support our bipartisan legislation.
“The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act is the result of months of careful deliberation and debate.
“Our group welcomed input from legal experts, from this committee, and from individuals with a wide range of political leanings.
“Based on the information we were provided, our group crafted a bill that is designed to garner bipartisan support.
“This legislation is a compromise, but I firmly believe that it will tackle our most pressing shared concerns.
“From the beginning, it was clear that if we wanted to prevent frivolous efforts to decertify valid election results, and reduce pressure from outside actors by passing legislation, we had to draft a narrow bill that will solve the threats to the presidential certification process.
“I understand that this legislation may not encompass all that some people want, but let me be clear: Inserting partisan language will doom this effort, and leave us with no meaningful reforms at all.
“The House-passed legislation seeking to amend the Electoral Count Act is a non-starter in the Senate, and involves language that we discounted for this very reason.
“I urge my colleagues in the Senate, and our counterparts in the House, to support the bipartisan Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, so that we may generate meaningful, but tailored, clarifications to the certification process.
“I will continue to push for passage of our legislation, and hope that my colleagues who profess to share concerns regarding the certification process will do the same.”
The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act includes the following provisions:
- Electoral Count Reform Act: This section would reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President. It would replace ambiguous provisions of the 19th-century law with clear procedures that maintain appropriate state and federal roles in selecting the President and Vice President of the United States as set forth in the U.S. Constitution.
-Presidential Transition Improvement Act: This section would help to promote the orderly transfer of power by providing clear guidelines for when eligible candidates for President or Vice President may receive federal resources to support their transition into office.
In developing the bills, the senators received input from state election officials as well as from an ideologically diverse group of election experts and legal scholars, including the American Law Institute. Additionally, Rules Committee Chairman Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Vice Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) provided helpful insight.