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It’s Time To Change How We Count Electoral Votes

Michael Glennon's writing is cited by The Washington Post's editorial team.

In the horrifying turmoil of the past week, Congress’s rejection of a Republican minority’s attempt to nullify the 2020 election results stands out as a bright moment for the rule of law and democracy. Though a relatively large number of GOP members in the House supported the bid, only eight of 50 Republicans present in the Senate did. And the broad bipartisan rejection came after a series of floor speeches that established an equally wide consensus: Congress has no authority to usurp the states’ prerogative to pick their own electors. That responsibility belongs to the states, through elections whose conformity with state law is the states’ alone to determine.


Such changes, suggested first by constitutional scholar Michael J. Glennon of Tufts University in the wake of the 2000 Bush-Gore debacle, are long overdue. So, too, are a number of additional updates to the Electoral Count Act, suggested not only by Mr. Glennon but also by Ohio State election law expert Edward B. Foley and others, that could help eliminate opportunities for partisan mischief of the kind that destabilized the country on Jan. 6. A large bipartisan majority of Congress has refused an opportunity to usurp power the Constitution assigns to someone else, evidence of that majority’s civic responsibility. Now, they should write it into law.

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