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Electoral Count Act reform won’t save our republic. But it could help preserve it.

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The Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot must never happen again. The recently released bipartisan proposal to reform the Electoral Count Act is a good step to make sure that’s the case.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 was the trigger for the tragic event that shocked the world. Jan. 6 was the day that Congress met to carry out its constitutional mandate to count electoral college votes. But the ECA allows members of Congress to challenge the legitimacy of a state’s votes and thereby delay or overturn the election result. Without the ECA, there would have been no Jan. 6 riot.

The ECA serves a real function. The Constitution’s failure to provide a mechanism to resolve disputes over a state’s electoral college votes resulted in Congress appointing an ad hoc commission to determine who won the contested 1876 election, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes or Democrat Samuel Tilden. Shortly after, Congress passed the ECA to provide a method to resolve any future election disputes.

But as President Donald Trump’s........

© Washington Post

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