Washington, D.C. — As states continue to pass measures that would allow partisan interference with the election process, a new brief from the Center for American Progress highlights some of the top threats to American elections and how to address them.
“The need to safeguard our election process has grown increasingly urgent over the past year,” said Alex Tausanovitch, director of campaign finance and electoral reform at CAP and author of the brief. “Legislation alone is not going to restore faith in democracy, but it can prevent the will of the voters from being thwarted.”
The brief finds that even a relatively limited attempt to manipulate the election could succeed in changing the outcome. It urges Congress and others to take specific action to strengthen the guardrails of democracy in response to three specific threats:
Threat No. 1: Election officials might refuse to certify the next election.
Response: Congress should require that each state certify its elections on the same schedule, based only on the actual tally of votes, and prohibit local officials from holding up the count.
Threat No. 2: Bad actors might try to tamper with the results of the election, or prevent their opposition from voting, under the pretense of preventing fraud.
Response: Congress can place limits on poll watchers, prohibit undue burdens on the right to vote, protect ballots and other materials for later review, and prevent the unwarranted removal of election officials.
Threat No. 3: Even when the election is over and done, members of Congress might refuse to respect the Electoral College results.
Response: A clearer, modernized version of the Electoral Count Act could help to standardize the process of certifying the results and prevent frivolous objections.
Read the brief: “How To Save American Democracy” by Alex Tausanovitch