Poll: Senate Election Reform Bill More Popular Than House Version

Americans educated about congressional proposals aimed at preventing another Jan. 6 attack prefer Senate reforms to a more sweeping house law, the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civic Discourse found in an informed poll conducted in the United States. summer was held.

The House and Senate have drafted competing, bipartisan proposals that would reform the way Congress counts electoral votes.

Although the two bills are similar, they diverge on a so-called objection threshold.

Current law allows one member of the House of Representatives and one member of the Senate to object to a voter or list of voters, making it relatively easy for a minority of politicians to cast doubt on the legitimacy of an election. . That is exactly what happened prior to the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.

Chamber legislation would raise the objection threshold to one-third of each chamber; the Senate measure would raise it to one-fifth of each chamber.

In the informed poll – unlike traditional surveys, participants read detailed policy notes before taking a position – 75% of participants favored raising the threshold to one-fifth of each chamber. That number included 93% of Democrats, 77% of Independents and 53% of Republicans.

Only 55% of respondents supported the stricter one-third threshold. That included 72% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 37% of Republicans.

Senators introduced their legislation in July and believe it has the best chance of becoming law because it has enough Republican support to avoid a filibuster. Senate negotiators added two more co-sponsors to their case on Thursday, with Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Maggie Hassan (DN.H.) became the 21st and 22nd co-sponsors.

Legislation has been passed for a price hike in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday, but the proposal is unlikely to see a floor vote in the Senate until after the midterm elections.

The House, meanwhile, unveiled its version this week and approved it Wednesday in a 229-203 vote. Nine Republicans joined all but one Democrat, who did not vote, in support of the measure.

The path forward is unclear, but supporters of the reform hope that an update to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 will reach the office of the president before the newly elected members of Congress take office in January.

The survey also found that additional provisions that Congress is pursuing are widely popular. By clarifying that the vice president’s role in the electoral count is ministerial, 89% gained support. The idea that lawmakers must abide by the laws on the books on Election Day unless a catastrophic event occurs received 80% support, and provisions requiring Congress to comply with court rulings and the grounds for objections to the to limit a state’s electoral list, received 78% and 77% support, respectively.

The poll originally asked participants about an objection threshold of one-third and one-fourth. The latter is not considered by either chamber, but this week a question was added regarding a one-fifth objection threshold, and participants who had already completed the letter and questionnaire were asked to answer it by email. That sample size is about 900 participants, but the results are almost identical to the full sample of answers to the fourth threshold question, suggesting that participants think the third threshold is too high.

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