Three Flaws (2)

Time to move on the Electoral College.

According to the Cato Institute, the Electoral Count Act (ECA) defines the process when Congress meets every four years on January 6 to count the electoral votes for president and vice president. This meeting is mandated by the Constitution, which requires that all electoral votes be sent to Congress and counted in front of the House and Senate. This count is normally a formality, but the ECA includes a caveat with potentially enormous consequences. Congress can reject an electoral vote, the law says, if a majority of both the House and Senate finds that an elector’s appointment was not “lawfully certified” or that the elector’s vote was not “regularly given.”

Donald Trump in 2021 tried to use procedures specified by the ECA to overturn the election and get himself proclaimed president. That resulted in the attack on the Capitol and multiple deaths. As a consequence, there are now numerous efforts underway to revise the ECA.

But Republicans, for obvious reasons, oppose undercutting the ECA. It resulted in both George W. Bush and Donald Trump being elected president despite losing the popular vote. And since Democrats outnumber Republicans in the U.S., Republicans prefer any factors that will give them a leg up. So the congressional fracas over the ECA promises to be a real rumble.

It’s obvious to me that we should not tinker with the ECA but repeal it altogether and abolish the Electoral College. The candidate who receives the most votes should be president. Period.

But don’t hold your breath. I expect the ECA to prevail for the foreseeable future.

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