Cicilline Votes to Preserve American Democracy, Protect Elections

Cicilline Votes to Preserve American Democracy, Protect Elections


Wed, 09/21/2022 – 17:52

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), former 2021 impeachment manager, today voted with his colleagues to pass the Presidential Election Reform Act, bipartisan legislation that will protect our free and fair elections, uphold the rule of law, and defend the Constitution. The legislation, crafted in response to former President Trump and his allies’ attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, would implement several common-sense measures to safeguard Rhode Islanders’ and all Americans’ votes against any future attempt to interfere with the certification of election results.

“A federal judge already found that Trump and his allies engaged in ‘a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history’ and it’s clear that he and his followers have not been dissuaded from trying this again. The former president and extremist politicians around the country continue to spout the big lie and refuse to commit to accepting the results of future elections. If we want to prevent another January 6th, we need to act,” said Congressman Cicilline. “As our justice system works to hold those responsible accountable for their actions leading up to and on January 6, 2021, Congress has a responsibility to make legislative changes to ensure that democracy remains in the hands of the American people. The Presidential Election Reform Act is a key part of this work. It’s shameful that most republicans refused to join House democrats in voting to pass this bill and continue to put power and party over the American people, and I want to thank the nine Republicans who stood up for democracy by voting yes.”

Building on the patriotic work of the bipartisan Select Committee to Investigate January 6th, the Presidential Election Reform Act will implement several measures to update and strengthen the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure the uninterrupted certification of future presidential elections, as required by the Constitution.  This legislation will:

  • Reaffirm that the vice president has no authority or discretion to reject official electoral slates or delay the count in any material way
  • Detail the Constitutional grounds upon which Members may object to a state’s electoral votes
    • Increasing the objection threshold to one-third of each chamber – rather than allowing a single Member of each chamber to raise an objection
    • Requiring a majority vote in each chamber to sustain an objection
  • Prevent rogue governors from unlawfully subverting the will of the people
    • Requiring governors to transmit lawful election results to Congress in a timely fashion
    • Authorizing presidential candidates to obtain a federal court order compelling a noncompliant state to deliver its election results
  • Prevent radical state legislators from attempting to alter the outcome of an election
    • Requiring states to conduct presidential elections under state law as established prior to Election Day
    • Barring state legislatures from “taking back” their electoral appointment power to overturn the results of an election
    • Allowing presidential candidates to seek a federal court order enforcing state election officials’ Constitutional obligation to count ballots and certify election results


Congress Number
September 21, 2022
September 22, 2022