Electoral Count Reform Act Included in Year-End Omnibus

Washington, DC— U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) welcomed the inclusion of bipartisan legislation to reform and modernize the Electoral Count Act of 1887 within the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which is scheduled to be voted on this week. 

The legislation, known as the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act, is led by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and cosponsored by Senator Murkowski, along with 36 of their Senate colleagues. Murkowski was part of a small, core group who negotiated and authored the bill.  

The measure ensures that electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for President. It replaces ambiguous provisions within the original 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 Constitution. If there is more than one apparent successful candidate for President, each candidate must be provided with equal access to federal government resources and information.  

“There is nothing more fundamental to American democracy than free and fair elections that are conducted with integrity and clear processes for determining the winners. There is no place within that for the manipulation of vague language from old laws, which occurred after the 2020 election and prompted this effort to improve the Electoral Count Act,” Senator Murkowski said. “These reforms are the result of numerous meetings, diligent research and counsel, and bipartisan compromise. Our final product is a bill that modernizes the current system for counting and certifying electoral votes in Presidential elections. I’m proud to have been part of this effort and thank my colleagues who put in the work to help restore vital trust in our Electoral College system.”

“The Senate’s ECA reform effort is the result of nearly a year of bipartisan negotiation, including numerous meetings and debates among our colleagues as well as conversations with a wide variety of election experts and legal scholars,” said Senators Collins and Manchin. “Our bipartisan group worked tirelessly to draft this legislation that fixes the flaws of the archaic and ambiguous Electoral Count Act of 1887 and establishes clear guidelines for our system of certifying and counting electoral votes for President and Vice President. We are pleased that our legislation has been included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill and are grateful to have the support of so many of our colleagues. We look forward to seeing this bill signed into law.”

Background: The Senators first introduced the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act on July 20, 2022.  On August 3, the Rules Committee held a legislative hearing on the legislation. On September 27, the Rules Committee favorably reported the bill to the full Senate by a vote of 14-1.  

Click HERE for a one-pager on the Electoral Count Reform Act.

Click HERE for a one-pager on the Presidential Transition Improvement Act.