Arcane, confusing law governs how Congress counts electoral votes. Will it change?

Banners say “count every vote” in San Francisco, November 2020. Photo by Shutterstock.

While the big push to expand voting rights is on hold in Washington D.C., a smaller measure is attracting bipartisan support. Politicians are talking about reforming a 19th century law called The Electoral Count Act, which is supposed to tell Congress what to do if there are problems with state voting tallies. Its wording is vague and confusing, but the law appears to allow Congress to decide the presidency. 

Former President Trump and his allies are trying to use the law to dispute the 2020 presidential election and possibly the 2024 election. 



  • Lawrence Douglas - professor of law, jurisprudence and social thought at Amherst College; author of “Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020”