The Electoral Count Act Debate Understates the Vice President’s Role

Then-Vice President Mike Pence takes part in a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 election results on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021. (Erin Schaff/Pool via Reuters)
Disputes over counting the electoral vote should be decided first in the states, then by the vice president, and then perhaps by the judiciary — but not Congress.


n January 6, 2025, Vice President Kamala Harris will open the electoral votes for president. Imagine if Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania switch their 2020 votes for Joseph Biden to the 2024 Republican candidate — say, former president Donald Trump, or Florida governor Ron DeSantis. This switch of 46 electoral votes (taking reapportionment into account), assuming all other states vote the same way in 2024 as in 2020, would award the White House to the Republicans.

But according to the theory promoted by former president Donald Trump, Harris would have the authority to reject these electoral votes. It is not hard to

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