WASHINGTON– Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators led by Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced a bill to reform the Electoral Count Act (ECA) of 1887: The Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act.
“Reforming the Electoral Count Act is a necessary fix to stop manipulation of election results by rogue members of Congress, state legislatures, and other state executives. But necessary does not mean sufficient. Congress is only doing half of its job by addressing manipulation on the back-end of elections but doing nothing to stop manipulation on the front-end. Even with a revised Electoral Count Act, voter suppression laws will continue to make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many voters of color to cast their ballots in the first place.” said Damon Hewitt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights President. “While some of the reforms included in the bill are a step in the right direction, reforming the ECA cannot be the final step that this Congress takes. Congress must pass substantive, comprehensive civil rights-focused voting rights legislation immediately.”
“While we are encouraged by these efforts, we must solve one of the root causes of the January 6th Insurrection—the myth that voters of color committed fraud during the 2020 election, which subsequently led to waves of voter suppression laws enacted in states across the country. The right to vote is the most sacred hallmark of democracy, and the impending damage to that right is all but guaranteed with the pending cases before the Supreme Court, and state legislatures across the country chomping at the bit to pass more voter suppression laws next year. If Black voters and other voters of color are unable to cast a ballot on or before Election Day, then solidifying the process for certifying each state’s electoral college votes is not enough to preserve our democracy,” said Caleb Jackson, Policy Counsel.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights will continue to pursue comprehensive, national voting rights protections ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections, amid a wave of unprecedented voter suppression, voter intimidation of voters and election workers, and politico-racial gerrymandering schemes that strip power from communities of color. We look forward to our continued work alongside Congress for bold, pro-democracy legislation that centers voters of color.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org