For immediate release

Letter to Congress- Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act

Business for America

Business for America | Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act

Honorable Members of Congress:

As US business leaders, we share a fundamental priority of protecting America’s democratic institutions and the stability of our political system, which are essential to the competitiveness of our business climate and economy. For this reason, we support congressional action to ensure the peaceful and orderly transition of power in future presidential elections by passing the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act.

The federal law governing the casting and counting of electoral votes — the Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) — sets the timeline for states to appoint presidential electors and cast their votes, describes the process for Congress to count the states’ electoral votes, and explains how Congress should resolve disputes on counting electors. It does so, however, in terms that are often confusing and in language that is unclear, leaving the potential for misinterpretation and misapplication. These ambiguities have contributed to escalating attempts by both parties to challenge the results of presidential elections over the last 20+ years, culminating with the calamitous events of January 6.

Election law experts warn that in light of these loopholes, the 135-year-old law needs to be updated to ensure that a losing party cannot subvert the results of the Electoral College. Congress must exercise its constitutional authority to clarify that the vice president's role is ceremonial in nature, clearly set the timing and process for states to choose their electors, specify limited grounds and raise the threshold for congressional objections, and establish clear procedures for dispute resolution.

It is imperative for Congress to protect the country from an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the next contested presidential election. By acting now, these updates would convey no partisan advantage or disadvantage: no party, faction, or bloc stands to gain in any predictable way from modernizing the ECA now, well before the 2024 election landscape has begun to take shape.

In addition to the ECA updates, this legislation will promote the orderly transfer of power by providing clear guidelines for when eligible candidates for president and vice president may receive federal resources to support their transition into office. Presidential transition delays have negative consequences for business by delaying the filling of key leadership positions critical for services that companies rely upon. We heartily support these provisions as well.

We applaud the efforts of Senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin to bring together a bipartisan working group and craft this essential legislative package, and we are heartened to see significant backing from both Democrats and Republicans. We hope that support from the business community will help bring more members of Congress onboard.

In the days running up to the 2020 presidential election, analysts at JP Morgan Chase published a research note arguing that the markets’ reaction to an election depends less on which candidate wins and more on the effective administration of the election, public trust in the result, and, ultimately, the peaceful transfer of power. The research challenged the conventional wisdom about business and government — that companies and investors simply seek to pursue their own financial goals — demonstrating instead that the business community has a bottom-line interest in ensuring public confidence in our political system.

We stand together today to urge Congress to pass the Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement Act this year.


The signatory companies & business organizations

Media Contacts
Jim Caruso
M1PR, Inc.