Reviews | Will Biden lose the fight for the right to vote?

Yuval Levin, opinion writer and director of constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute, thinks so. Both parties, he argues, should be able to set aside concerns about voter suppression and voter fraud — issues “that barely exist,” he says — to deal with the more pressing threat of electoral subversion.

A Senate compromise bill could, for example, limit the ability of state officials to remove local election administrators without cause; prohibit harassment of election workers (as happened in Georgia after the 2020 election); mandate a mechanism for post-election audits; demand a clear standard for making election results final; and modernizing the Electoral Count Act 1887, an ambiguously drafted law that governs the electoral college counting process.

“Our electoral reform debates over the past year have been misdirected in a way that has made them more controversial than they should be,” Levin writes. “Starting from shared concerns and real dangers and a clear understanding of our system’s strengths and not just its weaknesses, Congress can do better in the coming year.”

Whether a narrower bill could win the support of at least 10 Republicans remains an open question. In the opinion of Andy Craig of the Cato Institute, Republicans have self-interest reasons to at least change the voter count law.

“It’s likely we’ll see another election where Republicans win the Electoral College while getting fewer popular votes nationally,” he said. writing. “By virtue of Congress’s essentially unlimited ability to throw out votes under ECA, Democrats could easily abuse the process to overturn this result, citing their belief that the national popular vote should be determinative.”

And sure enough, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican Senate, suggested he might be open to changing the voter count law. Maine’s Susan Collins also convened a bipartisan group to discuss changes to the 1887 law as well as new protections for state election officials from harassment.

But some experts and suffrage advocates argue that the threat of electoral subversion should not be used to weaken efforts to curb voter suppression. “It’s a related attack,” Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice told The Times. “It is not enough to stop the sabotage attempt at the very end of the process if the process is undermined at all other phases.”

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