Press Release

Statement from PRP Co-Chairs on the Senate’s ECA Reform Proposal

July 20, 2022

Presidential Reform Project Co-Chairs Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith released the following statement on the release of the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan working group proposal to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

We are impressed with the draft Electoral Count Act reform legislation developed by a bipartisan Senate working group, including Senators Collins, Manchin, Romney, and Murphy. Our work on these reform issues, which has included co-chairing a group of experts convened by the American Law Institute (ALI), has convinced us that major improvements in the current law are both urgent and achievable.

The ALI Statement of Principles for ECA Reform that we endorsed differs in some respects. We note, in particular, that those Principles called for new authority for federal courts to hear challenges to ensure that state officials comply with the duty to transmit to the Congress lawful certificates of electors. The draft bill takes a different direction and provides only for courts to give expedited consideration to challenges of this kind that presidential candidates may file pursuant to existing law. 

Nonetheless, we believe the legislation as proposed will help curtail threats to future presidential elections that would erode the foundational democratic principles of our country. It merits broad support.