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Senator Murphy gives update on Electoral Count Act reform legislation

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Testifies In Senate Hearing
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U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) questions U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Capitol Hill, May 4, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy provided more details on new legislation geared toward reforming the Electoral Count Act and preventing future attempts to overturn presidential election results.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced in July to help safeguard the certification of election results.

Murphy, a co-sponsor of the bill, said modernizing the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which lays out the role of Congress after a presidential election, is an important step to protect democracy from attack.

“We need to be in the business of stopping another Jan. 6,” Murphy said at a Monday news conference, referring to the attack on the Capitol aimed at overturning the certification of the election of Joe Biden as president.

The legislation would prevent states from changing their method of selecting electors after the election took place, and it would make clear that a vice president does not have the power to throw out votes.

Murphy said the proposed reforms would make it a lot harder for any candidate to try to steal a presidential election.

“I think we have succeeded in building a piece of legislation that will erect new barriers,” he said.

He added that the bill sets a higher threshold for the number of members of the Senate and House to lodge an objection to a state's electors. It would also create a court process to expedite litigation over state electors.

Michayla Savitt is a summer 2022 newsroom intern at Connecticut Public, and covers environment and health issues. When she’s not on the air, Michayla is finishing up her graduate degree at the CUNY School of Journalism, exploring New York City, and hanging out with her toothless cat.