Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith

The Lessons of the Electoral Count Reform Act: Next Steps in Reform

January 31, 2023

Presidential Reform Project co-chairs Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith co-wrote this article on Lawfare, discussing the passing of the Electoral Count Reform Act. Bauer and Goldsmith discuss the next steps in reforming the presidency. An excerpt can be read below.

The Electoral Count Reform Act (ECRA), which President Biden signed into law on Dec. 29, 2022, is nothing short of a miracle in the annals of democracy reform. It would merit that recognition at any time. But that it found a path through the highly polarized politics and pressures of the times makes the achievement all the more remarkable. Already we have seen retrospectives that rightly note key factors contributing to its success, such as strong congressional leadership and the constructive use of bipartisan expertise on complex technical and constitutional questions. There is much credit to go around.

The ECRA experience also presents a possible model for thinking about what might be feasible in the next phase of federal-level democracy reform. Of course, the divided 118th Congress will make for much tougher sledding for all such endeavors. In the best of times, reform is caught up in party and other politics. This is even more true in a presidential election cycle in this sharply divided polity. But what worked in the Electoral Count Act case may help shape the reform agenda for the near future.

Keep reading at Lawfare.