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As I See It

Congress makes clear role of VP in certifying elections



Finally, some clarification of our election laws. For hundreds of years we assumed we knew how elections work in this country. Voters cast their ballots, the results are tabulated and then certified by Congress to declare the winner of our presidential elections. But in 2020 we learned that there was some ambiguity in the wording of our election laws. President Trump insisted that the Vice President of the United States has the ability to deny state election results, and even to create a whole new slate of electors in states won by Joe Biden. Lawsuit after lawsuit attempted to prove that was legal, but all failed. Still, Congress has wisely taken steps to make crystal clear how our elections are to work by updating the wording of the Electoral Count Act. The new language makes clear that the role of the Vice President in certifying elections is strictly ceremonial, and that the Vice President has no actual role in determining the outcome of our elections. The new law also makes it more difficult for Congress to object to the certification of our elections. Under the old rule, only one member of both the House and Senate had to object to force a roll call vote on a state’s election results. Now, that threshold increases to one-fifth of each chamber. It is good that Congress has taken these steps, but it is sad that such steps are even necessary to ensure our democracy remains intact.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Sladky

    December 28, 2022 at 8:56 am

    Hey Robert, Don’t forget that I plan on stopping by and help you fill in your “mail-in” ballot during the 2024 election cycle. I will also drop it off for you at the nearest ballot “drop box”. Oh ya, don’t worry about requesting an absentee ballot, as election ballots will be mailed to your home automatically.

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