New polling released today shows strong bipartisan support for updating the Electoral Count Act (ECA), an outdated 19th century law that has provided the framework governing the casting and counting of electoral votes for president and vice president, including Congress’ role in the process.
The poll underscores a serious concern that a majority of voters share that one party in Congress could try to overturn the results of an upcoming presidential election to put their own candidate in power. By a more than 3-to-1 margin, voters across party lines support updating the ECA to protect the will of the people and ensure that elections are decided by voters, not partisan politicians in Congress.
The poll, conducted by GS Strategy Group and ALG Research, also found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of voters say they would be more likely to support updating the ECA if it was written and proposed in a bipartisan way by both Democratic and Republican members of Congress.
62% of voters, including a majority of Republicans, believe that updates to the ECA are necessary to establish more clearly defined rules for Congress and the vice president to follow when counting the Electoral College votes in January, and make it more difficult for members of Congress to reject a state’s certified presidential election results.
“One of the reasons people say that America is ‘exceptional’ is that we regularly hold national elections run by the states per the Constitution, accept the outcome, and peacefully transfer power based on the results,” said former Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN), co-chair of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, the largest bipartisan coalition of its kind ever assembled to advocate for solutions to fix our broken political system. “If the states certify their elections and determine their Electoral College votes in December, the role of Congress on January 6th every four years is very simple. This law is called the Electoral Count Act, and it must be modernized for the 21st century so that what happened January 6, 2021, doesn’t happen again.”
58% of voters believe it is likely that a party will try to overturn the results of an upcoming presidential election to put their own candidate in power. The same percentage (58%) agree that there should only be a narrow, specific set of circumstances that allows Congress to reject presidential election results that have been certified by a state.
“As our poll shows, voters on both sides of the aisle are worried about partisan politicians trying to throw out a state’s certified presidential election results,” said Robert Jones from GS Strategy Group. “The public wants to see Congress act, and they strongly believe that a solution must be bipartisan. With the next presidential election having the potential to be one of the most contentious ever, this is one area where both Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree.”
The full pollster overview memo is available here.
These findings are based on the results of a nationwide online survey conducted by GS Strategy Group and ALG Research from September 20-26, 2021, among N=1,012 registered voters (912N nationwide + 100N oversample of Republicans). The confidence interval for the main sample is +/- 3.2% at the 95% level of confidence. The confidence interval for subgroups varies and is higher.